"The Stack" 8-28-16

Endwell, New York, is World Series of Little League. The team beat South Korea 2-1 in the LLWS Championship on Sunday.
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Stack is back on this Monday and football is back officially.  Yay!! The college football season kicks off this Thursday in earnest though we did have a couple of college football games this weekend.  California took down Hawaii 51-31 in Sydney, Australia, in FBS and North Dakota State knocked off Charleston Southern 24-17 in OT in FCS.  Everyone else kicks off this week.  We will have our college football season preview on Thursday so we will be working on that the next couple of days.  Of course if there is any big time news that comes up we will try and throw a quick post and put it up, but otherwise it is this post until Thursday so let’s get right to it and see what’s in “the stack” for today, Monday, August 29th:


Colin Kaepernick takes a stand (while sitting of course)


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has created quite a stir when he didn’t stand for the national anthem in Friday night’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.  Come to find out, he’s been doing it the entire preseason because, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” 


Now it’s true that there have been a number of different instances lately where it seems like African Americans are dying at the hands of police officers and it seems like there is a true race issue in America.  It sucks.  It shouldn’t be like this.  This isn’t the 1960s or 70s.  We as a country are better than this.  It may only be a few officers in a few cities in the country, but it only takes a couple to make people distrust the system.  That is what is going on right now in this country. 


Kaepernick’s teammate, wide receiver Anquan Boldin, says that we should respect his opinion even if we disagree.  Others certainly don’t feel that way including Kaepernick’s former teammate, Minnesota Vikings guard Alex Boone.  Kaepernick said on Sunday, “There are a lot of things that are going on that are unjust, people aren’t being held accountable for, that’s something that needs to change. That’s something, that, this country stands for liberty, freedom, justice for all. And it’s not happening for all right now. … I’ll continue to sit. I’m continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me this is something that has to change, and when there’s significant change and I feel that that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent and this country is representing people in the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”  Kaepernick is ready to lose endorsements and possibly his career to take this stance.  That’s pretty big.  There is a report out there that the 49ers are getting rid of Kaepernick, but it would be for football reasons, not for the national anthem issue.  They are standing by him in a way. 


I’m having a hard time with this one.  Certainly Kaepernick has every right not to stand during the national anthem, but it is very disrespectful.  Then again, so is what is going on America with a lot of these shootings involving African Americans.  As I said above, we as a country are better than this. 


This brings about a very interesting position for sports fans.  Often times we hear that folks want athletes to take a stand on important issues.  Kaepernick is taking a stand on the violence going on in America by choosing not to stand for the national anthem.  Would I do it?  No.  Would some do it?  Yes.  Would most?  Unlikely.  However, should we be criticizing Kaepernick just because we disagree with what he is doing?  It can’t be both ways.  If we want athletes to get involved in these social issues, then we can’t complain or get angry when they do something that we don’t think is right.  It’s hypocritical.  Again I’m not saying what Kaepernick is doing is right or something I would do, but if he truly feels that way and wants to put his career in jeopardy, who are we to stop him?  And if we want the sports stars to not say or do anything other than to entertain us, why are there so many people clamoring for athletes to do exactly that in times when issues come up?  It can’t be both ways.  If there was an issue with white people, wouldn’t a lot of people like someone like Aaron Rodgers to say something?  Would we be reacting the same way?  I think it is definitely something for us all to think about.  Respect the flag.  Respect the national anthem, but also respect those who are trying to raise awareness to an issue and get involved in the dialogue and the discussion constructively rather than criticize a celebrity and then do nothing else about it.


Tony Romo out 6-10 weeks


Dallas Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has looked awfully good this preseason and now the Cowboys will need to see if that preseason play transitions to the regular season.  Prescott’s services will be needed right away as starting quarterback Tony Romo has a broken bone in his back suffered after getting hit on the third play of the Cowboys’ game against the Seattle Seahawks Thursday night.  The timetable for Romo to be out is 6-10 weeks though Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett says that he isn’t ruling Romo out yet for week one.


This is a huge concern for the Cowboys.  Romo has had back issues in the past.  Once he comes back from this injury will he be gun shy?  Will he get injured again?  Romo may be reaching the end of his playing career.  It may be wise to call it quits sooner than later before he gets seriously injured.  Preseason and regular season are completely different ballgames especially for rookie quarterbacks.  If Prescott can keep up his impressive play it would be really stunning.  The Cowboys season was looking somewhat promising despite their suspensions on defense.  It still could be good and promising, but there are some significant questions and doubts raised now that a rookie is being thrust into the starting lineup.


U.S. Open gets underway


Tennis’ final grand slam event of the season gets underway in New York.  This is always a fun tournament with the crowds flooding into Arthur Ashe Stadium and other venues along the complex.  On the men’s side, it’s hard not to like Novak Djokovic and his chances though Andy Murray really seems to be playing with a great deal of confidence having won Wimbledon and a gold medal in the Olympics.  He is a very good pick as well. 


On the women’s side, how can you not pick Serena Williams?  She may be slowing down a little bit this year, but won her first major of the year at Wimbledon.  I don’t trust Venus Williams.  Maybe Madison Keys can make a deep run, but in the end I will take Serena Williams to win and avenge her semifinals loss in this very tournament last year that prevented her from winning the season grand slam.


Before we go, congrats to the Little Leaguers from Endwell, New York, who took down Seoul, South Korea, in the LLWS championship 2-1.  It is New York’s first championship since 1964.  It is first championship for the U.S. since California won in 2011.  Great game.  Fun last eleven days in Williamsport.


Coming up Thursday: 2016-17 College football season preview