Keith Woods

Keith Woods is NPR's Vice President for Newsroom Training and Diversity. In this role, his focus is to help NPR and Member stations strengthen the breadth and depth of diversity in content, staff, audience, and the work environment, and for these efforts to be integrated with NPR's Training team.

Woods joined NPR in February 2010 after 15 years at the Poynter Institute, the nation's leading training center for professional journalists. He spent his last five years at Poynter as its dean of faculty. He has taught writing and reporting on race relations, ethics and diversity, and was previously the Institute's director of diversity. He regularly writes and speaks on race and media and is the co-author of The Authentic Voice: The Best Reporting on Race and Ethnicity published by Columbia University Press in 2006.

Woods has consulted with most of the leading U.S. news organizations, and worked with faculty at journalism schools across the country to better incorporate diversity in their teaching. He has also served as chairman of two Pulitzer Prize juries. Before joining Poynter, Woods spent 16 years at The Times-Picayune as a sportswriter, news reporter, city editor, editorial writer, and columnist.

This piece originally ran in September, 2016, when Colin Kaepernick was still with the San Francisco 49ers.

Daddy would not have liked Colin Kaepernick. Had the San Francisco quarterback refused to stand for the national anthem in my father's presence, Daddy would have fixed him in a stare that could freeze the blood in your veins. Then, to no one in particular — but to everyone within earshot — he'd give the young man a two-sentence lesson in patriotic etiquette.

My sons remember the bitter cold. And they remember the warmth.

They felt it on the toasty subway car jammed to the doorsills with people at 5 a.m., smiling a knowing smile at strangers riding with us from Columbia Heights to the National Mall and Barack Obama's second presidential inauguration.

Daddy would not have liked Colin Kaepernick. Had the San Francisco quarterback refused to stand for the national anthem in my father's presence, Daddy would have fixed him in a stare that could freeze the blood in your veins. Then, to no one in particular — but to everyone within earshot — he'd give the young man a two-sentence lesson in patriotic etiquette.

"You stand during the national anthem," he'd say, punctuating his words with fire. "People died for that flag."