Everyone is thrilled that America’s game, football, is back on your TV stations every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday. Well not everyone is excited, unfortunate for Colin Kaepernick. Around the same time last year is when Colin Kaepernick, former San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback, started his silent protest of simply sitting down during the national anthem and since that day, his life and football career was never the same. Kaepernick explains to the NFL media, “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.”
Last year, Kaepernick said he would “donate one million dollars plus all the proceeds of [his] jersey sales from the 2016 season to organizations working in oppressed communities, 100k a month for 10 months.” Well Kaepernick is sticking to his word and has to donate each month to a different cause. You can view his donations and even help to select where he should donate each month at Kaepernick7. The former quarterback went an extra mile and created a “Know Your Rights” campaign for underprivileged youth in the Bay Area. Kaepernick told The Undefeated, the campaign wants to provide resources that will allow kids to “advance in life, and give them some of the same opportunities that other people have and have the luxury of having.” So again, why is this man not on an NFL team’s roster for the upcoming season?
In the wake of Colin Kaepernick’s protest, he has received backlash for taking a stand on what he believes is injustice. We also see a divide between other athletes on whether to join Kaepernick in his stance by risking their athletic career or staying quiet so they will not lose their starting position or income. His critics say he should apologize to America, cut his hair so they can take him seriously or better yet just stop protesting overall. Many people gave their opinions like Michael Vick as to why Kaepernick is not part of any NFL team this football season. Vick, a former Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback, during an appearance on Fox Sports 1 said, “The first thing we got to get Colin to do is cut his hair, I don’t think he should represent himself in that way in terms of the hairstyle. Just go clean-cut.” Well, Mr. Vick didn’t you sports cornrows before you had to cut your hair for the alleged dog fighting scandal. Unlike Michael Vick, Kaepernick has not done any illegal so why should he cut his hair in its natural state.
We are hearing the Baltimore Ravens may add Kaepernick to their roster behind Joe Flacco, but they wanted to ask their fans first. Really? Well Rashad Robinson of Color of Change, a civil rights group, launched a website to “mobilize calls in support of Kaepernick to Ravens headquarters.” The support from Kaepernick fans and Black activists increased support for Kaepernick to the Ravens, but now the Ravens have stopped taking calls or comments. With 70 percent of the NFL consisting of African-American players, you would think at least half of the Black players would stand with Kaepernick to advocate civil rights and human rights. However, some players are afraid to speak up and out in fear of receiving the same backlash we see Kaepernick receiving a year later. They pay to watch us run, jump and throw on the field, but if you speak out on your beliefs then you are making the NFL bad. It makes you wonder is the NFL really another version of slavery. They don’t want to see us win (in my DJ Khaled’s voice). Will you protest the NFL?
Originally blogged on Campus Lately