Kevin Kline

Some Write-In Ideas for Colin Kaepernick

So…NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has spent a good portion of 2016 kneeling during our national anthem in order to protest against inequality and injustice. And now…he doesn’t vote???

Seriously. He told a reporter he had no plans to vote this year. For anything.

His actions on NFL fields were universally scorned at first. Then, there was a groundswell of support. And he even turned around the opinions of some (like Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice) who initially opposed his kneel-downs.

But this move doesn’t make sense at all.

Okay, so both major candidates were weak and you couldn’t bring yourself to vote for either Trump or Clinton. Fill in the circle for a third-party politician like Gary Johnson, which could make a powerful statement about the failures of our two-party system.

Dude! Vote for somebody. A businessman or an educator or a friend you admire. Write in someone! Then use your celebrity status to illuminate the identity of your write-in vote and explain how his or her values would help set the country on the right course.

We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on the write-in option. Maybe he didn’t understand he could cast a write-in vote. Or worse–he couldn’t think of a single inspirational person. We have some ideas for him…

Ray Allen, the quiet, driven, dedicated and charismatic NBA star, who had an exemplary run on and off the court. He retired last week. He’s got some extra time.



Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, the tough and wise King of Jordan, who stands for peace and interfaith dialogue, and who turned around the economy of his country, despite the enormous social challenges presented by Jordan’s geographical proximity to Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.



Laura Casemento, the president of Utica College, who fought hard to punch a hole in the glass ceiling by once turning down a bank presidency because they didn’t offer her a coinciding spot on the board of trustees, and who is presiding over a tuition reduction to $20,000 annually!



Kaepernick wouldn’t even have to choose somebody real to make his point. How about a vote for Dave Kovic, the Kevin Kline movie hero, who resembles the actual president, assumes the Oval Office briefly, and offers common-sense solutions to our problems?



Again, the Kaepernick sympathizers will rush to defend his American right not to vote. But, come on. While he was sitting this one out, other athletes–Black, White, Hispanic–were heading to the polls and proudly Tweeting about it.

Arizona Cardinals’ wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald voted. Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez voted. The entire Coastal Carolina football team voted. Together.

Yes, Kaepernick makes a powerful statement again by not voting. But not the right type of statement. it’s irresponsible, it’s lazy, and it devalues everything he stood for (or didn’t stand for.)

His protest for justice coupled with his decision not to vote is hypocrisy of the highest order. Choosing not to vote for anyone or anything is apathetic; and it conveys a hopelessness for our country.

Maybe he never truly believed in what he was doing during these national anthems. Maybe he was just taking a knee all this time because he was tired.

Dave Coombs votes and hosts morning drive radio on 100.7 FM WUTQ in Utica.

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