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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Calipari Social Protest Edition

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Coach Cal counsels his players on what to consider before trying a Colin Kaepernick.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.

Today’s big story is John Calipari counseling his players to be careful about staging social protests a la Colin Kaepernick:

"If there is something happening in the world or around you that you want to make a statement about … , first of all educate yourself," he said. "Thoroughly know what they stand for. Do you stand for everything they stand for? If you don’t, don’t get involved. If you do, that’s the first step."

UK players should be on the lookout for being exploited, Calipari said. "In most cases, they want you in the front of the line. Why do they want you in the front of the line? Because you bring attention to their cause."

I think this is wise advice. My own opinion of protesting during the national anthem is a negative one, mainly because that’s not the way to bring about meaningful change — it’s mainly melodrama, attention-seeking and virtue signaling. There are many ways to become active in a community and seek meaningful change, and athletes both at the college and professional level have vastly more means at their disposal to become an agent for their cause than the average person.

Kneeing during the national anthem, ironically, is a way to close up some of those opportunities, potentially the most valuable ones. Many gatekeepers of those avenues expect athletes to show a modicum of respect to our national symbols.

I consider this form of protest a kind of laziness. Rather than spend their own time seeking meaningful ways to impact society, which is always difficult and time intensive, they take the cheap, easy shot to gain headlines instead. And too often in response to encouragement from others with less than pure motives.

Tweet of the Morning

Great. Don’t forget the O-line…

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