Colin Kaepernick reignited an important national conversation when he chose to sit for the national anthem before an NFL preseason game.It’s a nece sary conversation, addre sing real injustices that impact real Americans on a daily basis. It’s a conversation that, hopefully, will encourage opinions and dialoguethat actually leads to real solutions.Not all of the conversations on the subject have been constructive, though.MORE: The worst of the worst Kaepernick takesYep, I’m talking about Tony La Ru sa’s recent comments, both in a Sports Illustrated interview and on ESPN Radio. La Ru sa, of course, is a Hall of Fame manager (he won 2,728 games and three World Series titles over 33 years with the White Sox, A’s and Cardinals) who is now the chief baseball officerwith the Arizona Diamondbacks.With his comments, La Ru sa hasn’t only completely mi sed the point of Kaepernick’s anthem protest, but he’s actively hurting the national conversation by focusing on all https://www.indiansedge.com/cleveland-indians/mike-napoli-jersey the wrong things.Let’s start with this quote, from the SI interview, when he was asked how he would handle a player like Kaepernick taking a knee during the anthem: I know that there’s a constitutional right to expre s yourself, but I think you have a right as an organization to have a certain philosophy about respecting, whether it’s our Constitution, whether it’s our country, whether its our soldiers our flag. I would not, to the best of my ability, I would not sanction somebody taking a knee.So,La Ru sa believes, apparently, that a player’s true allegiances must be aligned with the beliefs of the bo ses in the organization that signs his paycheck. The player’s own beliefs should be secondary, it seems. He literally said, I know that there’s a constitutional right to expre s yourself, but You can’t have a but there. Constitutional rights aren’t trumped by organizational obligations.And La Ru sa said basically the same thing in an interview on ESPN radio, when the question was in reference to comments made by respected Orioles outfielder Adam Jones: You’re not going to be out there representing our team and our organization by disrespecting the flag. No, sir, I would not allow it. If you want to make your statement you make it in the clubhouse, but not out there, you’re not going to show it that way publicly and disrespectfully.Read that again: “No, sir, I would not allow it.”Yikes. So, y’know, it’s OK for a player La Ru sa employs to use a small platform, but that player can’t use the biggest platform because that might cast the organization in a slightly negative light. How in the world anyone can honestly believe Sport > Life is beyond me, but I gue s that’s La Ru sa’s opinion. He has the right to expre s that opinion, even if it has a horrible, haughty Know your place vibe.That’s a dangerous vibe, folks.And then there’s this, alsofrom the SI interview: I really question the sincerity of somebody like Kaepernick. I remember when he was on top. I never heard him talk about anything but himself. Now all of a sudden he’s struggling for attention and he makes this big pitch. I don’t buy it.Ugh.MORE: Skip Bayle s rips Trent Dilfer over Kaepernick commentsThe utter contempt for Kaepernick is just dripping off that quote, isn’t it? Watch the interview again. He wasn’t asked aboutKaepernick’sintentions; he just threw in that dig at Kaepernick’s characteras an Lonnie Chisenhall Jersey “Oh, yeah, and one more thing …” portion of his answer.La Ru sa doesn’t like Kaepernick’s actions, so his knee-jerk reaction is to question the sincerity of those actions, based off vague memories from a couple years ago. Textbook attack-the-me senger mentality.Way off base, in this case. Two days after Kaepernick was noticed sitting on the bench during the national anthem during a preseason game against the Packers, he answered questions from reporters for 18 minutes in front of his locker. The Packers game wasn’t the first time he’d sat for the anthem during a preseason game, it should be noted, just the first time anyone noticed and Kaepernick was asked about it. That doesn’t seem like a guy screaming Hey, look at me and this thing I’m doing!Check out the transcript.Do his answers sound like a player desperately trying to find any way to push himself back in the national spotlight, or do his answers sound more like an American who has seen enough and decided to use his platform his biggest platform to try and enact change? And I can promise you, 18 minutes is an incredibly long interview se sion, especially in an NFL locker room, where most interviews are cut short by media relations folks after five minutes, tops.MORE: Why you should listen to https://www.indiansedge.com/cleveland-indians/andrew-miller-jersey Adam Jones But La Ru sa doesn’t believe Kaepernick’s sincerity.Of course, he also didn’t believe any of his Oakland A’s were doing steroids when Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire were on his roster and he didn’t believe he’d had too much wine that time he got behind the wheel, fell asleep at an intersection and wound up with a DUI.Maybe we shouldn’t put too much stock in what La Ru sa believes.Or, y’know, what he says.Let’s strive to make this a constructive conversation.