More and more Hollywood celebrities have been supporting Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the NFL, and his right to kneel. But there haven’t been many (if any) people in the world of sports – besides the athletes – who are taking his side also. Until now. Michelle Freeman, a real estate magnate, and partner at Monumental Sports and Entertainment gave her support to Kaepernick and others who are engaging in these protests. To clarify, Monumental Sports and Entertainment owns the Capital One Arena, the Washington Capitals, the Washington Wizards and the WNBA team, the Mystics. All of that said, this is a big move for this kind of company to throw their support behind Kaepernick.
Freeman says that she supports athletes like Kaepernick, because of his use of peaceful protest. And she might be onto something. Kaepernick is protesting in a way that, I think, is still respectful. Others would disagree with that. But shouldn’t we be ok with anyone who wants to protest something, so long as they’re doing it in a peaceful way? I see protests all the time, I don’t necessarily have to agree with them to identify that they are being done in a way that isn’t disruptive to society. There are some people who just don’t agree with what he represents, and for some reason can’t stand that. But, in my opinion, Kaepernick is saying – this is what’s going on in America, and it’s something that we need to look at and understand better. So where’s the harm?
Freeman, CEO of the Carl M. Freeman real estate company and one of only three female partners in the Washington-area sports franchise, explained her support for Kaepernick’s protest in personal terms:
“I know that I’m a patriot. I know that I support our military, financially. … I look at that man and others and I say, ‘Isn’t that what we did as a society every time we moved forward, whether it was sitting at a lunch counter, whether it was peacefully protesting by walking over a bridge or moving our seat on a bus?’ For me, that’s what my husband fought for as a Green Beret, is the right for him to do that peacefully, respectfully.”
I think Freeman makes a good point, but I would take it one step further – what’s the harm in protesting during the national anthem? What would be an appropriate protest that demonstrates his concern for police brutality? When it comes to a protest, if you don’t agree with a company, you can stop buying their products. Or, you stop watching someone’s movies because you don’t like what they did or what they stand for. So how is this different?
Why I’m highlighting this today is because I think it’s great to see someone in the sports industry supporting Kaepernick’s right to protest. Further, she is supportive of him, and she also has a stake in the military side of things as her husband was a former Green Beret. My point is, just because you support the military, doesn’t mean that you can’t support Kaepernick’s protest. In my opinion, the two are completely separate, but the fact that they are getting mixed together leads me to believe that someone is just trying to stir the pot!