This article appeared in the September 04, 2018 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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What the Kaepernick debate 'should be all about'

Courtesy Nike/Reuters
Former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick appears in a Nike Inc advertisement marking the 30th anniversary of its "Just Do It" slogan in this image released by Nike Sept. 4, 2018.

Two years ago this week, Nate Boyer posted a photo to Twitter. In it, the former Army Green Beret stands side by side with then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Mr. Kaepernick had just caused a firestorm by sitting during the national anthem to protest police violence and racial inequality, and Mr. Boyer had wanted to talk to him about it.

After their conversation, Boyer wrote: “Thanks for the invite brother.... Good talk. Let’s just keep moving forward. This is what America should be all about.”

Today, as the Twitterverse explodes over Nike’s decision to have Kaepernick lead its newest advertising campaign, that 2016 photo offers valuable perspective. Kaepernick is the most polarizing figure in American sports. Polls show that black Americans and white Americans, Republicans and Democrats have had wildly different views of his protests. Nike might be making a social statement, a political statement, or just trying to sell more shoes. Regardless, the shoemaker has given us all fresh prompting to choose a side.

When Boyer and Kaepernick talked, they agreed to disagree about the protests, yet each listened honestly to the other and changed. Kaepernick went from sitting to taking a knee at Boyer’s prompting, and Boyer agreed to stand beside a kneeling Kaepernick before one game. In the end, each saw the other as a brother and vowed to keep moving forward. That remains an option for all of us.

Now, here are our five stories for today, including a look at the vision behind NAFTA, an effort to harvest something more from the sea, and a moment of freshness on the French calendar. 

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This article appeared in the September 04, 2018 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 09/04 edition