In case you missed it, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick set off a firestorm of controversy last Friday night when he refused to stand for America’s national anthem prior to his preseason game against my beloved Green Bay Packers.

When asked about his decision to sit, Kaepernick stated “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

No matter where you come down on Kaepernick’s protest, his actions are unquestionably beneficial for American culture because they’re starting conversations about freedom of speech. And I’m grateful for those conversations, because freedom of speech is often misunderstood in our world today.

As we’re learning, “freedom of speech” is not the same as “speech without consequence”.