In a seemingly odd turn of events, Colin Kaepernick has decided not to vote in the 2016 presidential election.
Of course, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback is free to make his own decisions, but it certainly seems odd that the person making front-page headlines over his protest of the national anthem due to injustice in America isn’t interested in having his voice be heard.
Sure, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton might be bad candidates in the grand scheme of things. But those aren’t the only two people on the ballot you can vote for, and you’re allowed to write other candidates in.
Some also claim voting for president of the United States is an imperfect exercise, pointing to the fact that it’s not your votes that matter, but those of the electoral college — which technically can vote however it pleases, regardless of how your state’s majority votes.
But ballots go further than that. Where your voice does matter is in voting for state and federal representatives, as well as candidates running for local offices. They make the impacts in the communities Kaepernick so desperately — and rightfully — is hoping to change. The ballot questions in each individual state determine new laws and regulations in communities that likely will directly affect the people that live there.
Kaepernick doesn’t have to vote. It’s his constitutional right to choose whether he exercises his ability to do so. And we’ve seen him go against the grain already with his recent protests.
But this is different. While refusing to stand for the national anthem raises awareness, voting actually allows citizens the opportunity to participate in change. And if that’s what Kaepernick really wanted to do, he’d rise from that infamous kneeling stance, get his butt to the polls, and help make this country as good as he hopes it can be.
Thumbnail photo via Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports Images