To the Editor:

When Colin Kaepernick chose to kneel during the national anthem, it raised two questions:

  1. Did he have the right to do it? The answer to this is a resounding yes. It was clearly his First Amendment right to do so.
  2. Was it a wise choice? I believe the answer is a definite no.

Since his objective was to protest injustices, such as police brutality and voter discrimination, his probability of success depended on enlisting and mobilizing large numbers of people for support. He surely knew that his action would gather some support but would antagonize so many people who otherwise might have joined him.

Polarizing the country could not help him succeed.  

The perception he created was that he was disrespecting the national anthem and the American flag. Also, by “taking a knee,” he misidentified his purpose.  

The American flag and the national anthem were not his enemies. They were the very symbols of what gave him the right to do what he did.

He should have led a delegation to city hall to protest police abuse or brutality, or to state capitals where unjust legislation would be enacted. That would have avoided any ambiguity about his objective, and it would have attacked the problem directly.

It’s time to change an ineffective protest into what could be a successful one.

Lewis Siegel

120-70 Prospect Street, Sept. 29