My personal schedule has been hellacious recently managing classes, personal health, and writing. I have about six posts that I’ve started and not finished that are things I just desire to express myself on. So, I pledge to continue to post as often as I can. The most relevant today is the protest, my good brother, Colin Kaepernick started in fall of 2016.
It started off with him sitting out games. Eventually, Kaepernick sat during the anthem. He then met with a group of veterans about his protest. They told him that if he wanted to protest but still show respect, he should kneel. Kneeling is what we do to pray, to show honor, and show respect, but it was not seen as that.
I read that kneeling could be equated to the flag at half-mast, when great tragedies happen and the flag is lowered from its usual height. Colin Kaepernick paid close attention to the needs and desires of veteran’s while bring attention to his real reason for kneeling: To draw attention to the inequality under the law and police brutality faced by black and brown people in the United States.
If you want to see the timeline of the protest and related events, you can find a detailed timeline with photos here.
Colin Kaepernick goes unsigned and is not hired following his protests. Rumors build of blackballing and not being signed to play due to him being “too controversial” or “not good enough”. Off field, Kaepernick shines while openly donating over a million dollars to charity and starting up the Know Your Rights Camp fully funded by Kaepernick himself.
Questions mounted about Kaepernick’s unsigned status after the current season started and many QB performances were subpar. Then 45 started a fire by saying that owners should fire players that kneel during the anthem, fans should just leave the stadium if that happens, and “NFL owners should respond to the players by saying, ‘Get that son of a b*tch off the field right now, he’s fired. He’s fired!'”
All of a sudden, the hashtag #TakeAKnee started to circulate and NFL Players and owners either locked arms, kneeled, or didn’t come out during the anthem at all. Today, Sports Illustrated released and interesting cover.
However, notice who’s missing? Colin Kaepernick. You know who still doesn’t have an offer to play? Colin Kaepernick. You know whose protest was hijacked and changed to something completely different? Colin Kaepernick.
Shannon Sharpe from UNDISPUTED gives an amazing response summing up these recent events (Watch until 7:57):
The problem is that people are not paying attention to the message. Colin Kaepernick was not protesting the flag, not specifically the anthem, not veterans but injustice and inequality in America. The flag stands for many things but apparently asking America to maintain its promise allow freedom and equality under the law is wrong. Any form of protest by black people are not “the way” to “properly” protest.
Nick Wright from First Things First also ties up this pretty nicely:
My problem is so much is being overshadowed in the midst of resisting 45. Brother Kaepernick’s message has been lost amidst easy resistance towards 45 when 45 is just a symptom of America’s larger problem: the disrespect and lack of value for black and brown bodies. This is NOT about 45, the flag, the military, or even sports. It’s about drawing attention to the idea that lives are being lost by people sworn to protect it. #TakeAKnee but to pray for a change in this world.
Turn Your Brightness Up!