It’s 4am. I’m in a Holiday Inn Express in Mobile. I fell asleep after watching Big Brother and woke up at 2:30. I couldn’t fall back asleep, so I did what anyone with sense would do and pulled out my phone to get on Twitter.
After seeing Uncle Ruckus Whitlock post some dumb plantation rhetoric about Kaepernick, I closed twitter out and decided I would open up Facebook. Mistake #2.
(By the way, shout out to Benjamin Albright for not putting up with that BS and calling him out. My respect for that dude grows everyday: someone who is principally conservative but not afraid to call people out on racist and socioeconomic disadvantages)
Anyway, I came across an article about Richard Sherman commenting on the Colin Kaepernick situation and it affirmed a few things for me:
- This situation is way deeper than white people want to believe
- Most NFL franchises are full of cowards in the front office
- The NFLPA and most NFL players are doing a disservice to themselves by not speaking out
Now it doesn’t surprise me that the Seahawks have been the ones who have been expressing their displeasure with Kaepernick’s treatment. You can say what you want, but they were the first ones to bring Kaep in for a workout this offseason and only passed on him because they didn’t believe it was fair for him to take on a backup role when he is talented enough to start. You can dig into that how you want to, but an organization that has been as openly liberal/progressive as the Seattle Seahawks get a benefit of the doubt.
Teams like Atlanta, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Green Bay, etc. either have an entrenched starter, have committed to a starter, or started with a solid backup to the point where it doesn’t make any sense other than making a statement to bring Kaepernick in. However, teams like Baltimore, Miami, Arizona, Jets, Rams, etc., have no excuse as to why they haven’t brought him. They’re hiding behind the “we need to check with sponsors” bit which is a thinly veiled way of saying “because we’re scared we might piss off middle class white America”.
“For you to say you have to check with sponsors and fans because this guy took a knee and made a statement? Now if you told me this guy threw eight pick-sixes last year and played like a bum, had no talent, that’s one thing. But Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett or whoever is playing for the Jets right now – whoever is starting for the Jets is terrible – have jobs. You’re telling me fans would rather you lose and put a worse player out there because a guy took a stand? That’s where it’s so troublesome to me.”
“What is it about?” Sherman said. “It’s not about football or color. It’s about, ‘Boy, stay in your place.’ He played in Chip (Kelly)’s system last year and went 16-4 (TD-to-INT ratio) on a bad team. He played well because he’s a good football player. He may not be the best, but he’s better than a lot of these dudes starting.” – USA TODAY (8.2.2017)
Now let’s dissect this a little bit because Sherman is absolutely correct. The Giants stood behind Josh Brown after domestic abuse incidents came to light last season. Ben Roethlisberger was accused of rape TWICE and got a contract extension, Greg Hardy got a nice contract with the Dallas Cowboys after horrendous abuse of a young woman. Ray Rice only got forced into retirement because a video came out and the NFL and its various franchises simply could not ignore it (plus he was getting to the wrong side of age). There are plenty more people who were accused and convicted of actual crimes who were able to strap up with no problem, but Kaepernick’s statements are too far.
And yes, conservative outlets and people like Clay Travis and Uncle Tom Whitlock have cherry picked statements made by Kaepernick and twisted them to make most whites feel complacent in their anger of Kaepernick’s protest. What is supposed to be a statement regarding inequality and the mistreatment of ethnic minorities, specifically black people, in our country, has been misconstrued into “Kaepernick hates America, hates cops, wants a race war”.
Kaepernick knelt. Okay. He didn’t shoot the bird, or turn his back, or yell out “F America”. He knelt. He protested in THE most respectful manner possible, made his statement, and then went to back up his statement through work. He’s said numerous times that he doesn’t hate the police, he hates the institutions they are paid to protect and he hates the violence that various departments across our nation incite and then work together to protect by protecting each other regardless of whether or not they’ve done wrong. Isn’t it obvious that the Blue Lives Matter crowd only formed in response to how “deeply troubled” they were that a statement like “Black Lives Matter” is even necessary? They sure were extremely quiet when the Somali cop mistakenly shot and killed a white woman, instead, they were picketing for her. AND THAT’S NOT TO MARGINALIZE HER DEATH, SHE WAS WRONGLY KILLED WHEN ASKING POLICE FOR HELP. In a sense, she’s a great example of why he took that knee, in so many different ways.
“BUT KAEPERNICK IS A TERRIBLE QB”
They cry, “the 49ers went 2-14 with him last year.”
QB wins aren’t everything and in some cases, they don’t mean anything. Kaepernick was a solid QB on an AWFUL roster, Sherman addressed it above: Kaep had a 4-1 TD:INT ratio last season. It wasn’t Tom Brady or Matt Ryan’s season, but it’s time to stop sitting here acting like he was Brian Hoyer or Kirk Cousins. He had a statistically better season than Ryan Tannehill, was comparable to Joe Flacco’s season, and is outright better than anyone under center for Minnesota, New York (Jets), Denver, LA, Arizona, Jacksonville, Houston, Miami, Washington, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Kansas City. Now like I said before, a few of them didn’t sign him for various reasons outside of the protest, they didn’t consider him because it didn’t make sense from an economic or planning standpoint (HOU, KC come to mind) but the rest have zero excuses. You want to talk on the field play, he can still compete at a high level in the right system (coughAdamGaseorSeanMcVaycough) and has started in the Super Bowl, hell, he was less than 10 yards away from a ring. That talent doesn’t just magically disappear. It’s still there, but it’s hard to see that showcased when your supporting cast heavily features Jeremy Kerley. By contrast, compare Blaine Gabbert who “beat” Kaep for the starting job in San Francisco, was underwhelming, and still got a contract before Kaep did:
56.9% completion, 5.78 YPA, 5 TD, 6 INT; 173 rush yds (4.3 ypc), 2 TDs
59.2% completion, 6.77 YPA, 16 TD, 4 INT; 468 rush yds (6.8ypc) , 2 TDs
Kaepernick was statistically better than Gabbert on every front and outperformed him as well. It’s utterly ridiculous that this guy is continuously getting passed over due to rhetoric and the league’s inability to actually take a damn stand for something for once.
Yet only few continue to stand up for Kaepernick, they reside in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s a damn shame that more don’t do it because they fear the backlash. If 90% of these NFL players weren’t NFL players, and they were shot and killed by an overly aggressive police officer, you bet your bottom dollar than Kaepernick’s staunchest critics wouldn’t bat an eye or would holler about how Black Lives Matter are the real racists inciting riots throughout the country. Hell, if we’re being real, most of these non-star NFL players COULD get shot and killed in that manner TOMORROW, and the very fans they’re being silent for would indeed paint them as the bad guy or they would be completely indifferent and play the “gotta hear both sides” card.
Which by the way, isn’t what you mean, what you mean is “I don’t have evidence to the contrary of what you’re saying, but what you’re saying makes me uncomfortable and I have to let you know that.”
We have a problem in this country. It’s a problem that allows for class systems and systems of oppression that were designed to lock certain groups out decades and centuries ago to continue on uninhibited. For those who benefit from those systems to turn a blind eye to the inequalities simply because it shakes the very foundation of how they were raised. It allows those unaffected by it to pretend as if it does not exist, and lash out angrily at anyone who insists that it does. It’s a system that is so unwavering, that no amount of research proving that it exists will ever be believed by those who benefit from it because they assume that it means that their lives should be perfect and any incident in their life that contradicts that false narrative means that the systems do not exist in any manner. That problem will likely continue for decades on end until minorities become the majority, and it’s sad.
I understand that people want to boycott the NFL, and I do support it. I’m not going to lie and say I’m going to do it too because as you see, I do have a livelihood and a vested interest in the NFL and football altogether. I won’t be boycotting, but I won’t be financially supporting them. No jerseys, no Sunday Ticket package, I’m not doing it. Hell, I might just stream Falcons games as to not add to ratings revenue (we are a Nielsen family). I’ll also be boycotting any advertisers who try to shade Kaep or the issue as a whole, they can go to hell.
And no, I wouldn’t be mad if most black players decided to actually take a stand and support Kaep.
Also, the NFLPA are cowards for not speaking up for Kaep.
I’m sorry, I’m done, I’ll go be a “good boy” now.