Why Captain America Reminds Me Never to Give Up

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Promotional image for the 2014 film “Captain America: Winter Solder.”

After all the you’re a racist if you don’t believe Colin Kaepernick gave up everything to be Nike’s “Just Do It” 30th anniversary spokesperson garbage a few days ago, I decided I needed to unwind and experience something to restore my spirit. So I again chose to dust off the DVD and watch the 2014 film Captain America: Winter Soldier.

Why, you ask?

I can’t find the quote online, but I recall that actor Chris Evans, who plays “Cap” in the Marvel movies, said something like “Captain America does good for the sake of doing good. He’s everything I’ve ever wanted to be as a man.”

That’s probably not exact, but I’m betting it’s pretty close.

In the film, he says stuff like:

I know I’m asking a lot. But the price of freedom is high. It always has been. And it’s a price I’m willing to pay. And if I’m the only one, then so be it. But I’m willing to bet I’m not.

And…

Yeah, we compromised. Sometimes in ways that made us not sleep so well. But we did it so the people could be free. This isn’t freedom, this is fear.

He didn’t act ashamed of America and, after all, the guy’s uniform is basically the American flag (I’d like to see someone try to stomp on or burn it while Rogers was wearing it). Steve Rogers is a living reminder why it’s okay to still believe that our nation is made up of people who do good and want to be even better.

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Colin Kaepernick’s Sacrifice and Nike

NOTE: As I come across more strangeness and silliness pertaining to this topic, I’ll add edits to the bottom of my missive, so this essay has become something of a “living” document, or at least a wee bit of streaming consciousness. Keep checking back for more.

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

-Attributed to Evelyn Beatrice Hall, Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet), and many others

Yes, I’m going to get political again, but this time it has nothing to do with WorldCon, Comicsgate, or any of that other stuff. Still, I suppose it’s related, since more or less the same players are involved.

I’ve read a ton of articles recently about Colin Kaepernick and what he’s supposedly sacrificed relative to being the “poster person” for Nike’s 30th anniversary of their “Just Do It” campaign. According to writer Hank Berrien in the linked article I just posted above, Kaepernick has been on Nike’s payroll since 2011, even though he hasn’t been in any of their ads for the past two years up until now.

As you can see from the image of his tweet, he believes in something even though (supposedly) it’s cost him everything. But what does that mean?

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Be Careful What You Tweet

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA – MARCH 23: Roseanne Barr at the “Roseanne” Press Conference at the Four Seasons Hotel on March 23, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)

Warning: This is a commentary, not a piece of fiction. If you came here for the fiction, this brief essay may not be for you.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Roseanne Barr major twitter gaffe that got her show cancelled, the whole Colin Kaepernick “taking the knee” protests, and how ABC and the NFL have respectively responded to them, all in terms of Free Speech Rights.

First let’s get something out of the way. What’s the short definition of Free Speech Rights? According to Wikipedia, it is:

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution declares, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It’s actually a lot more complicated and nuanced than that, but let’s roll with what I’ve just quoted.

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