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Daniel Sams arrested, and some thoughts on Colin Kaepernick

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College football has officially returned, and yet here we are with off-season story fodder.

Obviously, #Life should’ve stayed here.
Obviously, #Life should’ve stayed here.

Before we get into the news of the day, it’s time for some editorializing. Over the weekend, Colin Kaepernick, now the backup quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, became the focal point of a firestorm because he stayed sitting on the bench during the national anthem.

Unfortunately, this has led to three days of hot takes from people who apparently have nothing better to do. We want to make a few very important points, because they’re important — and they’re not really political. The First Amendment, after all, is not really a debatable issue.

  • Kaepernick was perfectly within his rights as an American to refuse to stand for the national anthem. Indeed, insistence on outward displays of patriotism are actually the sort of thing you expect from totalitarian societies; in a free society, such displays must be completely voluntary. It also should go without saying that this is precisely the sort of thing the Founding Fathers envisioned when they drafted the First Amendment.
  • People are perfectly within their rights to criticize Kaepernick. Kaepernick exercised his right to free expression but, as we all should know, free expression doesn’t carry with it the right to be free of criticism for expressing yourself. He chose a course of action which is offensive to many, and if he didn’t know he was going to catch hell for his actions then he’s got larger problems.
  • The biggie, though, is this, and it’s related to something I saw and heard far too often over the weekend: American soldiers, sailors, and marines do not fight (and sometimes sacrifice life or limb) for our flag. They fight for our freedom. The flag is nothing but a symbol. A very important symbol, and one which many of us revere with a deep and abiding passion. But it’s still just a symbol, and it represents those freedoms we so cherish. So if you see someone screaming that our servicemen didn’t fight and die so that he could disrespect our flag, keep in mind that in reality that’s actually exactly what they did fight for.

And with that, on with the show.

Previously

Yesterday, BracketCat dropped knowledge on QB Alex Delton and DB Jesse Mack, both of whom sport number five. So, so close to zero now. Also, in just a few minutes, look for Gracey’s post announcing our season-long Fan of the Week contest. No actual prizes, but winners get to show off for their peers.

Football

Reported by numerous sources, but we’ll give you Kellis Robinett’s story: Former Wildcat quarterback Daniel Sams was arrested on Saturday in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He’s charged with four separate counts of accessory after the fact in connection with a home invasion and a homicide. The homicide in question was the death of one of the home invaders, former McNeese State defensive back Aaron Sam.

There are not yet any details on exactly what Daniel’s involvement was. The charges indicate that he didn’t have anything to do with the actual commission of the crime, just that he became involved afterward. That, at least, comes as a bit of a relief. Unfortunately for Sams, those charges could result in 20 years behind bars.

Those who watched Cal-Hawai’i or NDSU-Charleston Southern this weekend will have noticed that ESPN is under the impression that there are no important football games this weekend which aren’t being aired on the Disney family of networks. Mike Hiserman of the Los Angeles Times respecfully disagrees, listing a certain game in Palo Alto as one of the weekend’s five most important matchups.

We’ve been breaking down the Wildcats by position over the last couple of weeks, but we’re not unique. The Stanford Daily is also breaking down the Cardinal by position group. Yesterday, they posted part nine of twelve, discussing the Stanford players that might have breakout years. There are links to the previous eight articles as well, and it’s well worth the read if you want to know more about Friday’s opponent.

Garrett Bechdolt at Cowboys Ride for Free takes a look at 5 games Oklahoma State fans aren’t giving the attention they should. A certain outfit from Manhattan gets the cover photo.

Per Reuben Frank at CSN Philly, the Eagles have cut Randall Evans. Evans spent last year on the practice squad, although he did see action in the season’s final contest.

To help you bear up under the horrible news above, here’s a dusty-room story. Corbin McGuire profiles punter Nick Walsh and his relationship with young cancer patient Tate Reid. Walsh was motivated by his old teammate Ryan Mueller’s connection with Kaiden Schroeder.

Volleyball

God, I hate Wisconsin. The Wildcat volleyball team ended what was still a great weekend by suffering a sweep at the hands of the fourth-ranked Badgers in the final of the Rainbow Wahine Invitational in Honolulu. But they come home with a 2-1 record and wins over sixth-ranked Hawai’i and unranked-but-receiving-votes Arizona, so the trip was an unqualified success. Katie Brand and Brooke Sassin were named to the all-tournament team.

The Cats come home this weekend for the K-State Invitational, at which they will be the only team with a loss in a field including Michigan, Tennessee State, and Georgia Tech.

Soccer

The women’s soccer team fell 2-0 at unbeaten Central Michigan yesterday afternoon. Mike Dibbini was pleased nonetheless, saying the team was learning how to “problem solve” on the fly. The Cats fall to 1-2-1, with games in Nebraska’s largest city this coming weekend: Creighton on Friday and Nebraska-Omaha on Sunday.