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Truth and Grace

By | 2017-04-28T03:19:52+00:00 09.16.2016|Tags: |61 Comments

It’s been a little while since Colin Kaepernick started his ongoing protest during the national anthem, and since then it’s created a fair amount of controversy. Some people agree with what he did. Others are against it. A lot of people kind of fall in between. It’s generated a lot of conversation, too, and it’s certainly got me thinking.

In case you missed it, Colin started sitting during the national anthem in preseason games, then changed to kneeling. Here’s how he explained his protest the first time he was asked about it as reported by NFL.com:

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

When it first happened, my immediate response was that I recognized Colin’s right to do what he was doing, but I also felt that what he was doing really rubbed me the wrong way for a variety of reasons. I posted the following on Twitter:

Since that time, I’ve continued to read and listen to what other people are saying, and it’s been incredibly instructive and educational. It’s also gotten me thinking about what an athlete’s obligation to speak out for truth is, and what the most productive ways are for doing that. I don’t have all the answers, but I do want to share what I’ve been thinking, and maybe help move the conversation along.

* * * * *

When it comes to an athlete’s role in politics and social issues, it can get real tricky really fast.

A lot of people try to escape from the outside world through sports. So we have to always be cognizant of that as an athlete. And I think it’s important not to force-feed politics to our fans, because we have to remember why they’re there. At the same time, I don’t think that means we can deny truth or ignore important things that are happening. It’s an extremely tough line to walk, and quite honestly, I don’t know if there are many athletes, including me, who really have handled it all that well, or to everyone’s satisfaction.

To be overly involved is forgetting your day job. To not be involved is a tremendous waste.

There’s a principle that I learned about at church in the past year, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately in this very context. It’s called truth and grace, and what really appeals to me about it conceptually is just how universal it is. The basic concept is this: Grace cannot exist without truth, and truth cannot exist without grace.

When I win a race, I fly the flag to reflect on the great privilege we have, made possible by those who have and are willing to give their own lives on our country’s behalf.

Feeling that we’re “right” about an issue—that we know the truth about it—isn’t enough. How we express the truths we believe toward other people matters because it’s ultimately what allows them to listen to what we have to say, to be empathetic, and either to take it to heart or disagree with it (hopefully, in a respectful way). If you tell someone that they’re doing something wrong and that they’re an idiot or that you hate them because of it, they’re probably not going to hear you, or change their behavior.

Chances are, they’re going to respond in pretty much the same way.

The reason that the idea of truth and grace is so compelling to me is because it’s something I’ve struggled with. It’s a very rare skill set, to have both grace and truth at the same time. It isn’t one that comes naturally to me. I don’t always do a great job of following the principle. I’m very much guilty in my life and career of not carrying myself with truth and grace, and I’d be a tremendous hypocrite if I didn’t acknowledge that. But it’s something I’ve been really trying to work on. That’s one of the reasons I love having a blog. It gives me a chance to keep turning ideas over and over in my mind, and eventually, try to express them with grace.

* * * * *

When we talk about Colin’s protest and the truths about racism in our country, it’s clear to me there’s truth in where he’s coming from. America is supposed to promise the same constitutional rights to everyone, and clearly, that’s not always the case. Racism and prejudice continue to exist.

To what degree is that true? I don’t know—I’m not sure anyone does—but I look at it this way. If we were talking about drunk driving, and you were the parent of a kid who had been killed by a drunk driver, you’d feel pretty strongly that drunk driving was still a problem, regardless of whether the number of drunk driving deaths had dropped over the past few decades or not.

That’s how a lot of people feel about racism in our country today.

My issue with Colin’s protest was not in the truth of his position. There’s no part of me trying to deny that. But I do have an issue with how he expressed himself, and I’ll explain why.

The singing of the national anthem, the flag, the presenting of colors—they’re more than just symbols to a lot of people in the military, especially those who are currently serving. Many of those people are going through hell. That moment before a sporting event where the national anthem is sung is a moment where I think members of the military feel like everybody cares about their suffering. It holds deep meaning for them. That’s important. I have a tremendous amount of respect for what those people go through.

bk_091516_3

Meeting and speaking with veterans like Brendan Marrocco has been a life-changing experience for me.

I also think about Gold Star families—families who have actually lost a loved one in military service. I’ve met many of them through my foundation, and the singing of the national anthem is something that they really self-identify with. They’re remembering someone they loved who died, someone who was taken from them. It’s a time for them to share their passion and pride for their country, to remember the sacrifice made by their family member, and to feel like it was worth something.

To these people, along with many of our first responders like firefighters and policemen, sitting or kneeling during the national anthem flies in the face all of these sacrifices. It dishonors everything they’ve done and given while serving our nation.

That’s the thing about the protests that Colin has started. Yes, they’re drawing attention to an important, righteous cause, but it’s not happening in a vacuum. That’s not how it works. The way that Colin and others are staging these protests, they’re upsetting a lot of military families. Given what those families have done for all of us and the very real pain that many of them have felt, I not only understand where they’re coming from—I sympathize with them, too.

* * * * *

After reading a previous draft of this blog entry, a friend of mine passed along something he thought I should read. I’m glad he did. I’d never read it before, and it really made me think about all of this in a different way. One particular passage seemed especially relevant:

“I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.”

Martin Luther King Jr. wrote that in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail in 1963, more than half a century ago. Similarly, Colin wanted to draw attention to racial injustice and police brutality—important issues that he felt were being ignored—and he picked a method for doing so that accomplished exactly that. A tension was created that made people uneasy, and they took notice in a way they almost certainly wouldn’t have otherwise.

What I don’t think Colin anticipated was that his actions would inadvertently hurt a group of people who don’t deserve to be hurt. And now that he does know that and has gotten everyone’s attention, I can’t help but feel that there’s a better, more productive way to effect change—like starting a foundation—than continuing to kneel during the anthem, or wearing socks that show pigs in police hats.

It gets back to the notion of truth and grace I mentioned earlier, and speaks to the heart of why grace matters so much.

Because instead of the majority of truth-minded people rallying to Colin’s cause to fight the real racial injustice we have in America, we have fragmented groups of people. We have people who see the truth in his protest, and can’t understand why people are upset by someone kneeling during the national anthem, especially to further an important cause. We have people who see the truth in Colin’s point of view, but who also are upset by the way his protest disrespects the military, first responders and our country. And we have people who have no interest in the truth anymore because they find the context of Colin’s protest so offensive.

There’s no shortage of people who want to deny truth. That’s existed throughout the history of mankind, and will continue to exist long after all of us are gone. That’s why it‘s so important to speak it. In life, you need to be honest with yourself if you’re going to grow. 
There are real issues in our nation right now, and we need to be truthful with ourselves if we’re going to progress.

May we all find the truth and grace to move our country forward.

61 Comments

  1. Timothy Reynolds September 16, 2016 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    Good commentary Brad!

  2. Linda Blaha September 16, 2016 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    Well said Brad. Truth and Grace.

  3. Gramma Joyce September 16, 2016 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Oh my. That was beautifully written and thank you

  4. Steve September 16, 2016 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Thoughtful and well said, thank you for actually thinking about it rather than reacting about it.

  5. Marcy September 16, 2016 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Wow, how true and accurate this blog is. You have a gjft to open peoples mind and send message of think before we react. Keep the blogs coming. We all can grow.

  6. Tami September 16, 2016 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    Brad you said it right and I agree with everything word you said… we all need to know Truth to have Grace and also have Grace to know and understand Grace…I couldn’t have said it any better. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and God Bless America!!!

  7. Darla Laffey September 16, 2016 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Much respect for you. I’m one who has lost all interest in the NFL. I use to be a huge fan. It’s just so offensive to kneel in front of those who sacrifice daily, meanwhile your getting paid millions, so not really any problems for you (Colin). He should put some of that many somewhere so it can make a difference. Hard to encourage change when ppl tune out your message! Well said Brad and good luck in the chase.

  8. Derek Sanders September 16, 2016 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    It’s apparent you put time and thought into this piece. I appreciate your candor and logic, and agree with most of it. As a USAF veteran I don’t feel that someone expressing their dissatisfaction with our country by sitting or kneeling during the anthem shows any disrespect to me or my actions. Rather, this is precisely why I served my country, to continue to allow us that very freedom of expression. I think most veterans in my age group feel the same way.

    • Ted Miller September 22, 2016 at 10:26 am - Reply

      I am a Veteran of the Vietnam War and Derek you said it like I feel. In no way does his kneeling show disrespect to me or other Vets.. I fought for all people’s rights and expressing those rights is what separates this Country from others – – It is what makes us the Greates Country in the World.. I remember watching a documentary on Adolf Hitler – – he demanded the pledge of allegiance to Germany, and honoring the countries flag, but his principles were headed down a dark path. Let’s celebrate our freedoms that we have by allowing all people to have their individual freedoms and still live together – – that is what I fought for and think most vets fought for the same, for in real life war is survival – – you got the back of the man in front of you and the man behind you has yours!!

  9. Doreen Onuski September 16, 2016 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    That was just amazing! I do share your same thoughts that it’s very disrespectful to anyone serving our country and keeping us safe!

  10. Joe September 16, 2016 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    Intelligent and Inspirational ….That’s why I’m a BK fan.

    SALUTE!

  11. Kelly September 16, 2016 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Great article Brad! Thank-you!

  12. Andrew September 16, 2016 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    You are and have been my driver. And thank you for taking the time and thought process to layout your view. I’ve met u at dega once and got a hat signed by you. I appreciate when u carry old glory after a victory and wondered your thoughts on this whole process because of your type of celebration. I currently serve the nation and have also bared it’s flag for 8 years and counting. I got the honor of serving in the honor guard and have presented those colors to 84 next of kin. I have personally looked into all of their eyes and told them the nation is thankful for their loved ones honorable and faithful service. The meaning of our stars and stripes mean something different to each individual. But if u take the time and meet the gold star families, vets, and retirees you will see the love for a country as a whole. Thank you for taking your platform and approaching it with grace.

    Ps hang on to that flag a little tighter from here on out. 🙂 And if you are ever near Columbus afb please stop in. Would love to show you and your team around. I do know your time is precious though.

  13. Sal September 16, 2016 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    If you ever decide to leave racing you have a great future in writing. Darius Rucker honored the country last Saturday night on the eve of 9/11 anniversary. Most patriotic song and moment I have ever been part of. Two wrongs never make a right. Colin needs to understand this.

  14. Victoria Lane September 16, 2016 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    This is an excellent and thought provoking commentary… thank you, Brad!

  15. Bret May September 16, 2016 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    I’m liking you more and more!

  16. Kayla September 16, 2016 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    This is really good Brad. This is a very good analysis of the incident. Very well said.

  17. Danny White September 16, 2016 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    Nice Blog, thoughtful, mature, and respectful of others. I applaud the fact that you mention truth and Grace. Our opinions are are just that, however only when empowered with truth and grave will they permeate the hearts of others.

  18. Dolly September 16, 2016 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    An excellent post Brad. It’s a coincidence but I did a FB post on this today. I am part of a military family. My Dad served 20 years, my husband (who is a huge BK fan) and I both served 20 years and we currently have 2 nephews serving. I completely understand Colin’s right to protest. I support peaceful protests but what you said is correct….truth and grace. It was great to draw attention to his concerns and to start his platform but now that needs to change to a different venue. He says he will kneel until the racial inequality ends. This type of conversation he wants started is not going to be a quick fix. Racial inequality is a very large problem and by continuing to protest this way along with others now raising their fists, I think will hinder the conversation. Another thing you point out hits deeply home. I love football but now I don’t even want to watch it because the media focuses on those kneeling or raising a fist. It hurts. Sports IS one of my ways to “get away” from everything else going on in the world. Sorry to bend your ear but wanted you to know this post is appreciated. Good luck in The Chase!

  19. Cody Patton September 16, 2016 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Amen Brad! We are always learning and evolving as humans and as a country.

  20. Mark Rector September 16, 2016 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    Well said Brad. Your Maturity over the last couple of years has been a pleasure to watch! Best of luck in the Chase and in life!

  21. Marion Derr September 16, 2016 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    Beautifully written Brad! I am sure there has got to be another way to protest what he wants to. This protest discredits all of our people who put their lives on the line for our wonderful country.

  22. patty September 16, 2016 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    Always great reads and makes one think about opinions,thanks

  23. Michael Niver, RM1, USN, Ret. September 16, 2016 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    That was a very thought provoking blog Brad and I’m so glad I got read it. Hope it goes viral!

  24. Rob September 16, 2016 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    Brad,

    Appreciate your well reasoned and obviously heartfelt response. Truth and Grace are hard and they are supposed to be. Nothing easy is worth a damn.

    While I understand how some in the military and their families may think of this as a personal affront, I do not. I will complete my 30th year of service this month. My son is in his second year of ROTC. My wife served 4 years. Her father served 8. Her grandfather 24. My father was killed in Vietnam 3 months before I was born. I say all of that only to give context of my perspective.

    My oath is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. Colin Kaepernick choosing to sit during the national anthem does not represent a threat to the Constitution. Far from it, he strengthens it. Our Union requires men of free will, free thought and free speech. We don’t need a nation of yes men. Can you imagine how limited a driver would be if his crew chief constantly agreed with him? “I think we should take two and gas” “well you do have 200 laps on those left sides and gas is going to take 12 seconds but you are the boss so rights sides and gas boys!” Our nation can’t survive without men of conscience standing up and saying “That is not right.”

    You mentioned drunk driving and I still remember when drunk driving was not only common, it was not that big a deal. I sometimes marvel at how I survived being a kid in the late 60s and early 70s with unsafe cars and unsafe drivers. It took people of conscience, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers in particular, to say “enough” before laws were changed and more importantly social stigma got people to stop. What we forget is that MADD was controversial at the time. Politicians actually resisted passing laws that now seem like a bare minimum. Prior to 1998 some states had BAC as high as 0.15 for DUI and there was significant resistance to lowering it. Today DUI fatalities are half what they were in 1982 despite the nation being 50% larger. Thats the power of words turned to action.

    Someone not standing during the national anthem isn’t a threat to the Constitution but someone else trying to force standing or “punish” for not standing IS a threat to the Constitution. The minute we compel someone to obey a ritual we head face first down the slippery slope of blind obedience. In my travels as a soldier I have seen the results of blind obedience and they are never good. When we deny any citizen the right to think we are denying the very essence of our nation.

    I know what an enemy of the Constitution looks like. It’s not Colin Kaepernick which makes him ok with me as a soldier. I don’t agree one bit with his views on first responders, but I understand where his come from. The vast majority of police officers conduct themselves in an exemplary maker every day. They serve and protect their friends and neighbors without bias or malice. Some do not. To label all bad because of the acts of a few is not helpful. It creates an us vs them mentality on both sides that continues the cycle of violence and mistrust. And the sad fact is that some on both sides have seen profit in continuing this serial and they are dragging otherwise well meaning people into ugly agreements full of hate. Unfortunately, too many in this country no longer know how to disagree without being disagreeable.

    Let me close with a form of speech seen at every NASCAR race – the Confederate flag. I have heard all the arguments about “heritage” and “states rights.” let me tell you what it means to this soldier – treason. To take up arms against your nation is treason. To celebrate and honor treasonous acts is to endorse treason. But just like you Brad, I respect their right to express their views and hope they respect my right to think ill of them. I find it especially ironic when I hear questioning of Colin’s motives and “disrespecting the flag” from folks who proudly fly the stars and bars. I can think of no greater affront to The Stars and Stripes than the stars and bars.

    Again, thank you. Thank you for taking the time and effort to express this. Thank you for taking the risk of speaking up in what is a very toxic environment for any public figure. Now quit reading this and get ready of the Chase! Win all 10 so there is no doubt!

  25. Rhonda September 16, 2016 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    Very well said, Brad. My son served proudly in the USAF and was brutally murdered in a civilian act of violence by a person of a different race. The skin color of my son’s killer made no difference, it was the evil in their heart. I was handed a flag the day of his funeral and while Colin’s way of protesting does bother me, I stand proudly in honor of our great military and always tear up with every flyover during race day in memory of my son. Truth and grace have brought me very far in my journey. Thank you for sharing!

  26. Ella Dean September 16, 2016 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    Your blog always provides food for thought. Thank you for this one, in particular. It’s the core of our national debate.

  27. Sharal September 16, 2016 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Brad, your so much deeper and wiser than most give you credit. I love when you carry Old Glory!!! The National Anthym brings tears to my eyes because I love our country so much. To the ones who want to deface it, I believe they should find residence elsewhere and see for their self they were better off in America!!!

  28. Nate September 16, 2016 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    I’m sure he was looking to make some people “uncomfortable” for not honoring the lives of soldiers who sacrificed, when we continuously use TRADITIONS blindly, while denying ALL Americans justice under the law. That is what he was protesting. Whether Brad or anyone felt a way about it mattered not obviously, when considering his protest and possible backlash. Military personnel are actually supportive as much as non.

  29. Bobbie September 16, 2016 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    Brad, Thank you for a very well written and thought provoking blog. My husband is a Vietnam veteran and I can tell you that it does upset him greatly
    when our National anthem or our Flag are disrespected. Perhaps it is partially because of the way Vietnam vets were treated upon their homecoming
    or the fact that our fathers and grandfathers fought in WW1 and WW2 and we have a small glimpse of the hell they endured. The bottom line is, there
    are ways to protest and ways to express your discontent, but not showing respect for the flag and our anthem that so many lost so much for
    is just not acceptable. Why don’t they do something constructive in their communities and find a way to make a difference. Patriotism should never be
    overlooked or outdated.

  30. Jim O'Steen September 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    Very, very well thought out and said Brad. As a Veteran I don’t agree with Colin’s way to show his protest, but I served to protect his right to do so. Hopefully he will find a more productive way to get his message across. Bless you and your family Brad.

  31. Cathy T. September 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    I am very moved by your commentary on Grace and Truth. It is not something that I have given much thought to before. You have given me much to think about and share with my son as we have had a conversation about Colin Kaepernick’s choice of protest against racism. Thank you.

  32. Andy DeLay September 16, 2016 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    As long as you realize that prejustice and rasim isn’t just rooted in the white population, but all American demographics, I agree. Im a career law enforcement officer. Police brutality is a problem, especially in larger police agencies… but people behaving poorly and dangerously exist rverywhere Brad.

  33. Linda Hester September 16, 2016 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    Very well said, Brad. I always enjoy reading your blogs, you are a great writer.

  34. Kevin Stepro September 16, 2016 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    Very eloquent blog Brad. Very well said. Now go out and win this Chase ! Go Brad #2

  35. Rickel September 16, 2016 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    Grace cannot exist without truth, and truth cannot exist without grace. I like it.

  36. Ann Haley September 16, 2016 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    Wow…thank you for forcing me to think a little deeper, see a little clearer, and adjust my attitude another notch.

  37. Janet R Krause September 16, 2016 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    You are definitely the thinker of the garage area and have made great points in your blogs. Keep flying the flag when you win. It’s important to so many who serve.

  38. Tammy Bingaman September 16, 2016 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    Well said Brad and Thank you for that! Good Luck in the Chase!!! GO TEAM PENSKE!!!!!!

  39. Patricia Walker September 16, 2016 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    I really enjoyed your blog. I’m so scared because of the way things have changed in our country. Police don’t get respect, armed forces don’t get respect and teachers don’t get respect. It all begins at home. What do we teach our children about the sacrifices people have made, so we can live freely ??? Much love for the blog ……..

  40. Christa September 16, 2016 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    Thank you for your insight! I would like your permission to share your article at my inner city middle school. We have so many angry young minority boys who have been victim. But they need to see that there are other ways of making a big statement. While we may disagree with how he is protesting, the freedom he has TO protest must be appreciated.

  41. Kathy Wynne September 16, 2016 at 9:20 pm - Reply

    First, i thank Vanessa for sharing this. Brad, as fairly new member of her church, i probably would not have had a chance to read your blog. As the mother of a female disabled army veteran, who was medically discharged at the age of 30 after a 15 month tour in iraq a 12 month tour in Afghanistan, thank you for carrying the american flag and showing respect to our military. I also suffered while she was away from home and the USA. I will always fly a flag in my yard, not just holidays, and stand with my hand over my heart when the national anthem is played. Respect is respect, some just dont get it! God Bless you and the USA!

  42. Ken Van Velzen September 16, 2016 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    Very well stated Brad, thank you for taking the time in your busy schedule to address this issue.

  43. Tim Edwards September 16, 2016 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    Love that you are open minded enough to review all aspects and adjust your opinions. It’s a well written blog. However, maybe it’s not entirely a bad thing that military families are upset over this. They should be upset. After all, it’s the rights and freedoms that their family members died for that are being denied to certain groups of society. Those who have sacrificed for their country, did so for all its citizens.

  44. Kathy Wilton September 16, 2016 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    Very well stated, Brad. If we look for reasons rather than knee jerk reactions we are all better off in life. We then ask, is this the best way to approach a remedy or to acknowledge a subject? Or is there something else I can do to make this issue less polarizing and understood.

  45. Rusty W. Moon September 17, 2016 at 3:39 am - Reply

    Brad, I agree that truth and grace is what makes us different in this promised land. May we be our brothers keeper regardless of our differences and show one another Christ – like love and understanding.

  46. Bill September 17, 2016 at 8:10 am - Reply

    As a disabled veteran, I’m sick of the indoctrination and hero worship. My oath of enlistment was to uphold the Constitution, the one that says that a person can sit for the anthem for any reason whatsoever, even no reason at all. I’m also a sports fan, and I can honestly say that it gets very old hearing the anthem 15 times a weekend. Football games, baseball games, basketball games, multiple races, holy crap we get it. I love my country, if I had to I would still fight and die for it, but that doesn’t mean that I have to get on my knees and worship Uncle Sam’s twig and berries. Maybe you don’t agree with Colin’s method, but guess what, everyone’s talking about it aren’t they? Isn’t that the goal of a protest?

    • Walter Masten September 21, 2016 at 5:52 pm - Reply

      Well put!

  47. Jeff Glockner September 17, 2016 at 9:39 am - Reply

    There’s plenty of ways to protest and voice your opinion without disrespecting our country’s flag and service members.

  48. wb September 17, 2016 at 10:15 am - Reply

    I’m reading this book right now. It makes you think. “The Grace and Truth Paradox” by Randy Alcorn. http://store.epm.org/product/grace-and-truth-paradox

  49. Brian September 17, 2016 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    Great commentary brad. I would urge you, though, to watch the FULL 18 minute locker room interview with Colin and the meda. Despite the twisted narrative portrayed by main stream media this goes FAR beyond racial discrimination. Also, why he is now kneeling vs just remaining seated entirely is 100% for the members and families of those who have or currently are serving our nation. This protest is less about race and more about opposition of tyrranical rule, the basis of what all servicemen are supposed to be fighting for.

  50. Janell Petersen September 17, 2016 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    Very well said Brad! I hope Collin reads your blog.

  51. Kim K September 17, 2016 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Brad,

    Thank you for your blog! I absolutely love the way you write and your honest opinions. You are so very well spoken young man! I love listening to your interviews or when you co host an Xfinity race.
    You have done an outstanding with this heated topic. While I seriously disagree with Colin and find him very disrespectful, I do understand it is his right. At first, being a 49er faithful, I was extremely embarrassed by his actions. I wanted the Niners to leave him in the locker room during the Anthem. I then realized I was being selfish and ignoring his rights. I do feel he has made his point, and now needs to do something about it. Take his protest to his hometown and start the hard work.
    I also want to acknowledge the military folks that have posted on this blog. Thank you for your service first and foremost, and secondly for your post. I really did think you would take personal offense to Colin’s disrespect of our flag. You have opened my eyes!
    Thanks again Brad! Very well said! Truth and Grace.
    Good luck in the Chase!

  52. J Martinez September 18, 2016 at 12:26 am - Reply

    First off, thank you for acknowledging your impact as a major personality and you affect on the masses. I have a new respect for you as a person. We will never be a perfect country but we are still a country built on morals and beliefs and that is the only thread that will keep our country United. Well said.

  53. Alan W. September 19, 2016 at 12:27 am - Reply

    Excellent commentary Brad. Thanks for all you do

  54. Christopher Hendrix-Buxton September 19, 2016 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    Are you sure you’re just a racecar driver? The Philosophical Perspectives at 200mph might be a good book title. The ground you cover driving equates relatively to the feelings that can be shared in only so many words. In other words, excellent writing and Thank You. You honor our families.

  55. Walter Masten September 21, 2016 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    A lot of good words have been written here but at the same time black people are still being killed out on the streets. I hope Colin continues his protest.

  56. Lloyd September 21, 2016 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    Great Blog! I don’t think most race car drivers think like you. I believe that protest from a professional athlete should be off camera. I believe that if you have a cause you think is a problem then you should use other media opportunities to state your issues!

  57. Landen October 5, 2016 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Another great Blog. Thank for writing these, good way to get me thinking of things I take for granted.

  58. Carla Stoddard October 16, 2016 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    Nicely said Brad, To be truthful with you I misjudged you. Because of some news on the TV I judged you wrongly without even knowing you. God showed me I was wrong. Please forgive me. I’ve taken the time to listen to your words and realized you are a good man who believes in Grace, Truth, Faith and Forgiveness. Thank you and God bless you. Sincerely Carla Stoddard.

  59. Mike May 12, 2017 at 12:12 am - Reply

    I was no fan of the #2 Team prior to reading this months ago when you wrote it, but your acknowledgement and self-awareness of your personal struggle to be a better person struck me profoundly. I kind of thought you were a jerk and poor loser, based on your post-race comments at times, but knowing that you realize that you can do better and that you strive to be better shows me that you care about the example you set. We are who we are, but we can also change if we want to. Perhaps it was the birth of your daughter, perhaps it was just growing up, but whatever it is that’s inspired you, it’s enough for me to quietly root for the Deuce, knowing there’s a genuinely human being behind the wheel just doing his best to be all he can be while understanding the importance of the example he sets. Bravo!

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