I’ve watched the NFL since I was about 5 years old. This is the first year since the 70’s that I’m not excited for every Sunday in the fall. The echoes of Colin Kaepernick’s protest in 2016 still resound and they may be getting louder.
The NFL needs to get their shit together. Notice I was rocking Orenthal (Killer O.J.) James Simpson’s number.
(That football wasn’t big, I was just little as fuck.)
Does the National Anthem and the Amerikkkan flag truly represent you?
That shit doesn’t represent me.
The flag was adopted by Amerikkka in 1777 and the national anthem was written by Francis Scott Key in 1814. What were people that look like me doing in 1777 and 1814? Picking cotton, getting whipped, raped, and hung from trees. That’s what my ancestors were doing when Old Glory started flapping in the wind.
That’s what my people’s lives looked like when Francis Scott Key wrote the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’. Key was even kind enough to remind us of it in the third stanza.
“And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
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.”
Yup, there’s your hidden third verse. The verse they don’t sing. The verse that people act like doesn’t exist. That’s it.
“No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.” So what in the fuck is that supposed to mean? Is that supposed to mean “If you’re a slave and if you run there’s nowhere to hide, we’ll find you and kill you”?
Is that the ode to the flag that represents Amerikkka? The land of the free? The land of opportunity? The land where the blood of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Laquan McDonald, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and countless others soak the soil? The home of the brave where unarmed black men are slaughtered like cattle while their killers walk free? Is this the same country described in the first two verses of the Star-Spangled Banner we always hear or is this the Amerikkka depicted in the third verse? The Amerikkka that gave us Donald Trump? Are we supposed to stand and put our hands over our hearts for that shit?
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and current free agent Colin Kaepernick didn’t. During the 2016 NFL season the African-American backup QB took a knee during the National Anthem. He kneeled down because he wouldn’t stand for a flag that’s supposed to represent justice but it actually stands as a symbol of injustice to many people of color.
Kaepernick cited police brutality as one of the main issues that needed to be addressed in this country, and said that he would stand when he felt that these concerns were being addressed.
That’s all Kap did.
He didn’t beat his girlfriend, wife, or child in the stands, he didn’t smoke crack on the sidelines, he didn’t kill anybody with a vehicle or otherwise.
The man knelt.
Like you do in a church.
Then all Hell broke lose.
He was called a traitor, a communist, anti-Amerikkkan, anti-military, a divider, a terrorist. A bunch of bullshit. Amerikkka hurried up to paint him as a loose cannon who wanted to destroy the United States (like Trump needs any help doing that).
Remember, all the man did was kneel during the National Anthem.
The backup QB, kneeling for 1 minute, before the game even starts.
Kneeling to bring awareness to the injustices being perpetrated upon black and brown people all across Amerikkka.
Kneeling peacefully to protest black men being shot down violently in the street by people who are supposed to protect them. That shit seems like a noble cause to me.
Apparently some people didn’t agree.
You can wear pink in October to show support for efforts to find a cure for breast cancer. You can place oversized red kettles around the football field to try and raise money for the underprivileged. What you CAN NOT do is kneel during the National Anthem to protest black and brown people being killed by police.
That you can’t do.
As per usual, there’s nothing new under the sun. Kaepernick is not the first professional athlete to use his heightened profile to try and affect social change or to make a statement. 50 years ago black athletes converged on Cleveland, Ohio to show support for embattled boxer Muhammad Ali.
Ali was fighting the draft for the Vietnam Conflict under the premise that he was a Minister in the Nation Of Islam and a conscientious objector to the war. The U.S. government threatened to jail him, and athletes including Bill Russell, Jim Brown and Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) attended the Cleveland summit and stood in solidarity with Ali. Kaepernick isn’t even the first athlete to protest when the National Anthem is played at a sporting event. At the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Mexico Tommie Smith and John Carlos won the gold and bronze medals in the 200 meters. During the medal ceremony they raised black-gloved fists during the playing of the anthem. In the mid-90’s NBA guard Mahmoud Abdul Rauf famously protested the Star-Spangled Banner by also refusing to stand during it. He was fined and eventually he came to an agreement with the NBA that he would stand and pray during the anthem. So there’s nothing new here. The National Anthem has always been a target as a symbol of Amerikkka’s oppression of a certain demographic of people. What is new is the video evidence of police killing black men. That’s what Colin Kaepernick is protesting. See, people want to sweep that under the rug and concentrate on the kneeling and say that he’s disrespecting the flag, the military and the country. No, he just said he wouldn’t stand up for Amerikkka until Amerikkka stood up for people that looked like him. You would think everyone would get behind that sentiment and lend support if not join the protest.
Although a smattering of athletes in the NFL and different sports did join Kaepernick, the blowback was palpable.
Fans from Amerikka’s heartland screamed bloody murder while the notoriously conservative NFL owners white-balled Kaepernick. After spending last season with San Francisco he remains a free-agent, although many NFL teams are in need of a serviceable backup QB, and some a starting QB. The NFL is supposed to be a meritocracy but that obviously only counts as long as you don’t stand up (or kneel) for black issues.
Trump and his supporters couldn’t be happier that Kaepernick doesn’t have a job. They love it. Trump even takes credit for it. Well, in all fairness Trump takes credit for everything.
I try to put myself in the owner’s position. Do I bring in a polarizing 29 year old back up QB that may divide my locker room?
He could be a distraction.
Will he turn my team into a media circus? He went 1-10 last year, how much can he really help?
I get it.
I fully understand the owners talking points.
Numbers don’t lie.
But u have to go inside the numbers to see the real story. First of all,29 is still young as fuck by anyone’s standards. By comparison Tom Brady is 40. Kaepernick’s team did win only 1 game and lose 10 with him at the helm.
That record wasn’t all Kaepernick’s fault.
The 49ers were fucking terrible.
Kap threw 331 passes in the 2016 season.
He threw 16 touchdowns against 4 interceptions. To put that in perspective, Andy Dalton, the starting QB of the Cincinnati Bengals has thrown 65 passes with 0 touchdowns and 4 interceptions throughout the first two games of the season.
Kaepernick’s 2016 TD to INT ratio puts him in the same rarefied air as NFL poster boys Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. In the 2012 - 2013 season Kaepernick took San Fran to a Superbowl and to another NFC championship game in 2013.
He knows how to win.
He’s definitely good enough to fill in for an injured starter and give your team a chance, if you have an adequate roster. Alas, Colin Kaepernick remains in the unemployment line while lesser players like Blake Bortles, Joe Webb, Brock Osweiler, Tom Savage, Josh McCown, etc. have jobs.
And he said he wouldn’t protest anymore.
There goes your distraction.
Even though the numbers don’t totally add up the owners have laid out their case, giving them plausible deniability to combat the inevitable incoming charges of racism. But we know what the fuck it’s all about, don’t we?
How dare that nigger not stand for the National Anthem after this country has allowed him to get rich by running around on the grass?
See, the owners can’t say that but they don’t have to because the coons do it for them. Led by the Head Coon In Charge Jason Whitlock of FS1’s “Speak For Yourself”, they pulled out all the stops on Kaepernick. They attacked his blackness, saying that since he was biracial and raised by a white family he wasn’t black enough to “stand up” (kneel down) for black issues. Well, is actor Jesse Williams “black enough” to care about black issues? Coon Whitlock even had the audacity to post a picture of himself mocking Colin Kaepernick. Standing with a Kaepernick impostor who was wearing an afro wig, a black glove and a #7 Kaepernick jersey. Turns out that the impostor was Christopher “Kid” Reid of 90’s Hip Hop duo Kid-N-Play. Reid is probably the most melanin-challenged black man on the planet. Kid Rock said “FUCK KAEPERNICK” during a concert. (I know Kid Rock. I plan to have a talk with him about that and some other shit.)
What the fuck did Colin Kaepernick do to deserve this ridicule?
I repeat; all the man did was kneel during a fucking song that disparages part of his lineage in the third verse. Michael Vick said Kap should cut his afro. Really, Vick? Didn’t you go to the Fed joint for dogslaughter? Ray Lewis let all of the coon come out of him when it came to criticizing Kaepernick. Wasn’t Ray involved in a murder in Atlanta some years ago? Now he’s telling some bizarre tale that he was behind the scenes attempting to get Kap a job with The Baltimore Ravens but a tweet from Colin’s girlfriend fucked it up?
Stop it Ray.
Cleveland Browns great Jim Brown had some slick shit to say about Colin too. He said that he doesn’t desecrate his flag. Jim Brown? The same Jim Brown who stood behind Ali when he battled the U.S. government? Unfortunately I’m not surprised. I’ve never been more disappointed than when I saw Jim Brown and Ray Lewis go meet with Trump. Brown even said that he “fell in love” with Trump so I wasn’t caught off guard when he said that bullshit about Colin’s plight. They kept coming; Shady McCoy & Dak Prescott chimed in, standing against Kaepernick.
I was taken aback by McCoy’s stance, not too surprised by Dak’s position. He is after all the starting quarterback for the Dallas Coonboys. Amerikkka’s Team. They’ll sign an array of players with checkered pasts like Pacman Jones, Greg Hardy, and others but not Kaepernick.
I wonder why.
It’s not all bad, tho. Kap does have his defenders and sympathizers. Cam Newton, Michael Bennett (who just had his own run in with the Las Vegas police), Martellus Bennett, Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch, players from The Cleveland Browns, Marcus Peters, etc. He even got some support from white NFL stars like Chris Long and Aaron Rodgers. But I think his staunchest supporter is NFL HOFer Shannon Sharpe of FS1’s “UNDECIDED”. He holds the NFL’s feet to the fire every chance he gets. To be clear, this shit is about racism. All that other shit is a smoke screen. Now, I don’t mind racism. Most people have racist ideas whether they know it or not, so I’m never mad when some shit goes sideways. I figure that’s just the way it is, fuck it. I can think of a thousand other reasons to hate a muthafucka besides their race.
But that’s just me, I’m gifted like that.
It’s laughable for the NFL to act as if this Colin Kaepernick debacle is about anything except racism. I gotta reiterate, Colin’s protest is about the oppression of POC and police killing unarmed black males. The kneeling during the Anthem was only supposed to bring attention to the issue. People are more outraged at the form of protest than what is actually being protested. I always hear the chatter about the protest being uncomfortable for some people.
Muthafucka, it’s called a “PROTEST” not a “PLACATE” or a “COMFORT”. It’s supposed to make people squirm and look away. It’s supposed to spark conversation and controversy. That shit is supposed to be like nails on a chalkboard. If you get mad everytime you see a black football player kneeling during the National Anthem, then you should get mad at police who use excessive force.
That’s the cause of the kneeling that irks you so much.
Kaepernick announced that he was donating $1 million dollars of his own money plus the proceeds from his jersey sales to organizations working in oppressed communities.
He wasn’t lauded by many for that shit.
He was told to just shut up and play football.
Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt raised over $30 million dollars for Hurricane Harvey relief. He was applauded for that, as he should have been.
No one told JJ Watt to shut up and stick to football.
I guess police killing black people is only a black problem and hurricanes may affect anyone, white or black. Therefore activisim for hurricane relief is sanctioned but trying to get some type of relief for black people is frowned upon.
I’m sure that if Colin Kaepernick was kneeling to protest the fact that Amerikkka hasn’t found a cure for cancer nobody would have a problem with it. What I’m saying is everyone should keep it 100%. Stop with this faux outrage that Kap knelt during the Star-Spangled Banner. Admit that the real outrage is because he stood up for black people.
How dare he.
Addendum: I watched the National Anthem played at the beginning of the Fox and CBS football games, and I saw everybody standing like some good negroes. (Michael Bennett sat and his brother Martellus raised a fist in a Black Power salute.) I even saw a lowlight of the Cleveland Browns running on the field with Cleveland police and locking arms with them. They called it unity but I call it cooning. Isn’t this the same Cleveland police department that killed Tamir Rice? And these muthafuckas are locking arms with them.
They got what they wanted; for The Browns to stand during the anthem. What the fuck did The Browns players get? If the police wanted to show real unity with the players then they all should have kneeled. In my humble opinion celebrating that flag is like celebrating a slave master’s whip.
I love the IDEA of America, what it’s supposed to be and what the flag is supposed to stand for. The reality of the Amerikkka we live in is that an idea is just an idea, and that flag is more of a representation of oppression than freedom to people of color.
Look, Colin Kaepernick is going to be on the right side of history on this.
He didn’t kneel for the right to fuck little kids, he knelt because it’s fucked up how some people are treated.