It’s hard for me to admit I was wrong but I have to. In this case I was misguided. I still don’t really know where I stand but I do know that there is a huge problem in this world, and that’s all I needed to acknowledge.
Colin Kaepernick put himself in the middle of two very different political ideologies. In 2016, when Kaepernick took a seat during the national anthem to protest police brutality, he became public enemy #1. The right wingers said: “How dare he disrespect the flag?” Oh you mean the same flag that people wear as underwear and bikini bottoms? But sitting down and taking a knee is disrespecting the flag. Protesting peacefully is disrespecting the flag?All he did was protest peacefully. I know this now.
I was a hater of Kaepernick the player. The activist I didn’t mind. I felt that he was opportunistic and was looking for attention because he felt his career coming to an end. I felt that he wasn’t as good as he was in years prior and had regressed tremendously. Did I think he wasn’t good enough to have a job? No. He was more than capable in making a comeback. I justified why teams wouldn’t sign him. I knew that owners would never sign him again because he wasn’t worth the bad publicity. I think, and I still do, that he is a backup QB level player. 2016 was the final year of his deal where he earned over $40M in his short career. He was going into free agency and wasn’t signed by anyone. Why? Why would a Super Bowl contending QB that is extremely versatile not get more than one try out? Were the NFL owners told to not sign him? Were they scared of backlash by President Trump? that referred to anyone that kneeled during the anthem as “Sons of Bitches”. Their hands were forced and Kaepernick was blackballed. I realized that fairly quickly but always fell back on the fact that he wasn’t good enough. Not good enough to have a job while Nate Peterman still had one.
Colin Kaepernick was supported by Nike and they offered him an estimated $22M. He isn’t broke, he isn’t struggling but I’m sure he would much rather make less now and have a job in the NFL. The same job that he has been training for his entire life. Kaepernick hasn’t helped himself either… He was asking for crazy amounts of money when the market didn’t dictate that he was worth that much. He then changed his tone and said he wants to play. Kaepernick and the NFL agreed that they would host a private workout in 2019 where at the last minute he was given a bogus contract by the NFL to sign. On the contract it was noted that he couldn’t sue the NFL if he doesn’t get signed by a team. Kap moved the workout where a small percentage of scouts attended. Kaepernick sued the NFL for collusion and won. Good for him.
Fast forward four years and we’re back at it. More deaths to unarmed citizens by police officers with no repercussions. Kaepernick’s name has been dragged through the mud again. Even searching for Kaepernick Google, it doesn’t say Football player it says American Activist. The death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have made me and many more realize that there is an issue here. We live in a society where people of colour are looked at differently and fearfully. Thousands of people walked the streets of their cities and protested and the same right wingers that complained about Kaepernick’s kneeling said that there’s no room for riots and peacefully protesting was the way to get your message across. OK… I think the riots are dumb and are cause by opportunistic people that do not care about the message. They want to loot and steal and take advantage. The same people that criticized Lebron James telling him to “shutup and dribble” when he was criticizing policies, were saying that Drew Brees is allowed to voice his opinion.
How many videos will we see of cops pulling guns on black men for not having a their turn signal on? How many times will the same video of a black man being beaten or shot be shared for us to realize there’s a problem? How many complaints will we file against police officers that abuse their power? How many cops will be released and not face any punishment for murdering unarmed citizens?
I have a platform where I can express my thoughts and have people listen. I decided to shutup and listen. I listened to my friends and collaborators tell us their stories. I realize that just talking does nothing. Posting a blacked out pic on social media does nothing. Putting a #BlackLivesMatter on my Instagram and Twitter does very little to support my friends that have experienced prejudice and have been racially profiled by the police and society. I have my opinions on other topics but when it comes to Kaepernick and his message, I should’ve shutup and listened 4 years ago. I knew it was a problem but I didn’t realize how big.
Kaepernick is being linked to the Titans. I hope hope gets a chance because he shouldn’t have ever been denied a job. But I hope he sucks so I can be right.