What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
If you’re an athlete, and you want to take a political stand, I say go for it. That’s what America is all about. As a blogger, I’m going to be the absolute LAST guy to tell anybody they can’t say what they want. However, you need to realize that if nobody’s listening, whatever you say means nothing.
Friday night, soon-to-be-former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick stirred the pot by refusing to stand during the national anthem before Friday night game against Green Bay. Naturally, this blew up the interwebz. Most of the responses fell into two categories; either “Shut the fuck up, Colin” or “You’re a hero for taking a stand.”
Both sides couldn’t be more wrong, because neither of them really understands what this is really all about. Follow along as I explain why.
For starters, the “shut the fuck up” crowd fundamentally misunderstands what America is all about. Frankly, stuff like this is EXACTLY why I love Twitter. Now, not only do I know Colin Kaepernick has a room-temperature IQ, I now have a nice list of reactionary block-heads. It gets worse from here.
But the real stupidity comes from “You’re a hero for taking a stand” crowd. Twitter was full of a lot of shit like this:
You’re right. I don’t understand “activism.” I don’t understand a guy who not only is a multi-millionaire, but became one in an “oppressive” country. Let me be the first to apologize for forcing opportunities upon you that ended up in you getting the “my kids will never have to work” kind of money. I also don’t understand somebody who supposedly cares so much about a cause yet isn’t putting his money where his mouth is.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who finds that a bit curious. However, the real issue at this point becomes the question of Kaepernick’s real motive. The next tweet starts taking us down that road.
I’m calling “bullshit” on that. This is 100% about Colin Kaepernick. The dead give-away is in his actual quote.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Network’s Steve Wyche after the game against Green Bay. “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.”
Let’s break that down, shall we?
1) “…show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
If he stops right there, I really don’t have a problem with this. Again, America is a place where everybody get to express their opinion. Obviously, race relations in America is a subject with a wide difference of opinion.
But Kaepernick doesn’t stop there. When you couple that with the fact that this action did nothing but draw attention to himself and was intended only to draw attention to himself, it becomes pretty clear what this is really all about. Not only will you see that in a bit; you’ll see why.
2) “…it would be selfish on my part…”
A lot of the people criticizing Kaepernick are calling him an idiot. I think he’s EXACTLY the opposite. These words and this action were very deliberate and very calculated. He tacitly admits that later in the article when he admits knowing this action would create a backlash. Not to mention, this excerpt reeks of the person who says ” I don’t mean to interrupt” as they are interrupting you.
3) “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Have you noticed this sentence gets left out in the vast majority of times this story has been reported. That’s because the the obvious reference to Black Lives Matter instantly kills any attempt to portray Kaepernick as a conscientious purveyor of social commentary. Anybody in America who is being intellectually honest knows BLM is nothing more than a left-wing anti-police organization, which is not a popular opinion in this country. That’s why it hides under a false narrative about race relations in this county.
Having said all that, there’s a reason why Kaepernick is doing this now. He knows he’s about to lose his stage for such a show; the only reason he is still on the 49ers roster is the fact they owe him guaranteed money. In any event, he’s destined for the bench, and not a lot a people give a shit what back-up quarterbacks think.
But why support such a dubious organization as BLM? Because Kaepernick feels a need to prove how “black” he is.
Whether America wants to admit this or not, this is a country all about labels. When you are a mixed-race child raised by white parents, you will not be accepted by the “black” culture until you prove your “blackness.” I can relate to this being a racially ambiguous person myself. White people often can tell what I am, just that I’m not of them; a significant number of black people usually do know what I am and feel a need for me to “prove it.” There are a large number of blacks in this country who believe in the “one drop of blood” theory, and that any child with one drop of black blood in them needs to be raised by black people, otherwise that child cannot be considered to be “really black.” To be really black, one must act a certain way and believe certain things. That’s what Chris Broussard’s “cornball brother” comment about Robert Griffin III was all about.
That also means that the real divides we face in this country aren’t necessarily based on race. That’s why BLM needs to create a race narrative, and that’s why Kaepernick feels a need to prove his “blackness.” Here’s the ugly reality which is going to get me called all sorts of names. Colin Kaepernick probably never had to deal with anybody questioning who he was until he hit an NFL locker room. He was raised by adoptive white parents in Wisconsin, and played his college ball at relatively out-of-the-way Nevada.
Not to mention, supporting Black Lives Matter is the fast-food drive-thru of political activism; you don’t have to do anything other than tell people what you are, you don’t have to give your time or money because you can slap the “racist” label on anybody who criticizes you. Oh, and if you are a guy playing his way out of the league, you can set up the argument you got released for your views rather than the fact you can’t play.
At the end of the day, Kaepernick is headed soon for obscurity because he’s had his day as an NFL quarterback. But what will ultimately be shorter than his career as a player will be his tenure as somebody whose opinion matters.