Listen, John Legend doesn’t come to your job and smack the pricing gun from your hand. So don’t try to tell him about the national anthem, okay? The 37-year-old singer—who’s hit the high note in “La-and of the Fr-eeeeeeeeeeeee” at basically every major sporting event—recently offered his expert opinion regarding the controversy around San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who found himself in the eye of a crap tornado even Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt would avoid after he refused to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” before an NFL preseason game last Friday night.
Kaepernick’s stance has drawn ire from people who absolutely love it when conservative politicians (we won’t say who) say America’s going down the tubes, but can’t take it when professional athletes do the same. Kaepernick later explained that his movie was a protest against unfair treatment of people of color by police in America, which unsurprisingly didn’t go over so well with the “love it or leave it” crowd. Since then, some veterans have come forward to support Kaepernick’s right to peaceful protest on social media under the #VeteransForKaepernick hashtag, while others have been busy testing the limits of their blood pressure after discovering that the football player once wore a pair of socks with little cartoon pigs in police hats on them.
Legend’s stance on socks remains unclear, although we’re going to go ahead and assume he’s pro-warm feet. But his stance against ”The Star-Spangled Banner” stems from a little-known additional verse that appears to celebrate the death of slaves recruited by the British to fight against U.S. troops in the War of 1812. Here’s that verse:
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Legend suggests “America The Beautiful” as an alternate national anthem, but that’s a pretty boring choice. Miley Cyrus’ “Party In The U.S.A.,” maybe? No, she’s pro-LGBT rights. “Born In The U.S.A.?” Nah, Springsteen’s opposed to North Carolina’s anti-trans “bathroom bill,” so that takes him out of the running, too. “R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A.?” Come on, you know Mellencamp’s going to follow Springsteen’s lead on anti-LGBT legislation.
Sorry, America—looks like Kid Rock it is, then.