In fine ones. Hence we need to have

In the Nicomachean ethics, Aristotle discusses virtue ethics and becoming a virtuous person. He explains how having virtue means doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, in the right amount, towards the right people. It is safe to categorize Colin Kaepernick as a virtuous person for being a genuinely benevolent and honest man. Kaepernick’s refusal to stand while the national anthem was playing can be validated as appropriate behavior through virtue ethics.Aristotle argues that we are not virtuous by nature. He points out that for what we can do naturally, we first have the potential and then exhibit the activity. But it is the other way around for virtues. We come to form dispositions to feel and behave in certain ways by what we do . We are not naturally virtuous, but we are naturally capable of becoming virtuous. “A courageous person will assess the situation, they will know their own abilities, and they will take action that is right in a particular situation” (). That meaning a fully virtuous action is one in which the individual knows what they are doing, chooses the act for its own sake and makes their choice from a firm and unchangeable character.  “Virtue of character is concerned with pleasures and pains. For it is pleasure that causes us to do base actions, and pain that causes us to abstain from fine ones. Hence we need to have had the appropriate upbringing—right from early youth, as Plato says—to make us find enjoyment or pain in the right things; for this is the correct education” (Aristotle 21). Aristotle concluded that whether or not we can lead a good life depends a great deal on the habits we form when we are young. He also mentions that our character is revealed by what we take pleasure in and how we handle pain. Colin Kaepernick, a backup quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, started a national debate with his refusal to stand while the national anthem was playing throughout the NFL season. At first the action went unnoticed because Kaepernick was not in uniform or expected to play. It wasn’t until August 26, 2016, that a picture of him sitting on the sideline in uniform, while the national anthem was playing, went viral. The photo quickly grabbed people’s’ attention on twitter, instagram, and facebook prompting media sources to question and initiate discussion on his behavior and actions during the game. Shortly after the media had seen the buzz from the photo, Kaepernick landed an interview with sports media to share his side of the story and give an explanation for his refusal to stand during the anthem. He stated that he was not going to “stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color” (Gaines, Cork). From there on Kaepernick then began kneeling for the national anthem leading children, high schoolers, collegiates, and even other professional athletes to do the same. Even with Kaepernick’s only in intention wanting to raise awareness to issues of social injustice, many Americans argue that his refusal to stand for the anthem was disrespectful to our country and those who have served. Benevolence, one principle of being a virtuous person, means assisting those in need through acts of kindness or humanitarianism. It can also be described as someone’s unselfish actions to help the welfare of others. Kaepernick can be considered characteristically benevolent or altruistic with his continuous contributions to charities, in both time and money. His charity efforts included a monthly donation of $100,000 for ten months, which is equivalent to $1 million total. The money was put towards helping “fight oppression of all kinds globally, through education and social activism” (Wagoner, Nick). He went beyond the surface and donated proceeds from his jersey sales, and even went far enough to volunteer his time and mentor underprivileged teens. Providing them with information on nutrition, health, and dealing with interacting with law enforcement officials. Another piece of evidence to support his case was Kaepernick’s former NFL coach who had nothing but good things to say about him. He describes him as “remarkable” and even goes as far to say he is an “outstanding player and trusted teammate” (ESPN, MIKE SANDO). With Kaepernick’s continuous efforts to help his community and the less fortunate, along with the credibility of his former coach who can confirm his general characteristics and traits; virtue ethics provides a reason for the appropriateness of his refusal to stand for the anthem.Honesty, another trait possessed by someone who is virtuous, just means having integrity or truthfulness and refraining from deception. Kaepernick has proved to acquire honest and truthful characteristics, not one public account has indicated an instance where he acted deceitful or dishonest. The recurring issues with police brutality within a short amount of time was the driving force to the message behind Kaepernick’s silent protests. Despite the fact that the issue had already been gaining national media attention before the Kaepernick debate, many people concluded that he was clearly defending a certain side after learning that he wore socks that depicted cops as pigs on them to practice. Many people felt this was an unforgivable act and that he was insulting cops by wearing them. In retaliation, Kaepernick captioned his picture on Instagram with his reasoning for wearing the socks, “I wore these socks, in the past, because the rogue cops that are allowed to hold positions in police departments, not only put the community in danger, but also put the cops that have the right intentions in danger by creating an environment of tension and mistrust” (Davis, Scott). Throughout all of his protests and interviews Kaepernick remained honest and true to his opinion. Aristotle compares a person’s character of good or bad to their habits and continual choices. Habit, for example, helps to define the character of Kaepernick as a professional athlete. He is talented and skillful at learning new routines and repetitions and executing them on the field in practices and games. However, having a skill is not a value associated with someone being characterized as good or bad person, according to Aristotle it’s a person’s virtue. Virtue is defined by how a person handles the situation, not on the situation itself. Some people like to consider themselves to  have a good or benevolent character and claim they have a tendency to assist people in need. However, talk is cheap, following through and having proof of how the people in need are helped is a greater indicator of good or benevolent character. For example, many celebrities portray themselves as a virtuous person by bringing attention to global issues, such as the libya slave trade, through social media. They put a bandaid on the situation and pat themselves on the back with a tweet, a one time cash donation, or a petition for fans to sign. In reality, making a change is far more complicated than that, you must make a long term commitment and follow through. Countless fans who were brought to the attention of the issue view the celebrities as such a helping hand when the issue has been going on for the last several years, and victims have not seen a dime or any volunteered help. Although many celebrities credit themselves in situations like these, there is proof of Kaepernick’s character in his charitable contributions. Not only does his devotion to charity prove his character, but so did his meeting with the press which was scheduled shortly after his first silent protest went publicly noticed. He shared his concerns with injustice and how he wanted to get America’s attention about a controversial issues in hopes that our country could become unified on the issue. People can generalize Kaepernick’s virtuous character in his attempt to bring attention to the issue, and in the end successfully generating publicity, and conversation on it.  Aristotle once said “virtues are formed in man by his doing the actions,” (Aristotle ) unlike most celebrities trying to make a change he made a difference through actions, not just a post on social media.There are a handful of people who strongly disagree with Kaepernick’s beliefs and way of going about dealing with it. Many have found it challenging to consider him a virtuous person despite his donations and charitable actions considering his decision to wear the socks putting a bad light on cops. Others felt he was using his status as a sensationalized professional player to exasperate a message about the dangers of rouge police through social media. It is clear throughout Kaepernick’s protests that he genuinely believed  that a social injustice was being ignored and showed concern for the wellbeing of those that were being harmed by it. He knew his celebrity status would assist in raising awareness of an elusive issue in mainstream society. Once his silent protest was noticed, the issue of social injustice was brought to a national debate by news sources and social media. He remained truthful to media and his fans, never backing down for what he believed in and proved his character. For one to say Colin Kaepernick is a virtuous person is correct, he fits all of the characteristic traits.


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