A little under a year ago, Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem instead of standing like tradition. This produced a massive amount of news and media attention.
Let’s rewind a little more, though. In the 2012 NFL Playoffs, the Kaepernick-led 49ers absolutely tore apart my beloved Green Bay Packers en route to a NFC title. The following year, he destroyed the Packers once more by throwing for over 400 yards in the season opener. I hated the guy. I couldn’t stand him. I thought he was a cocky little punk. My god, my thoughts on Kaep have changed since he fall of 2013.
Then in a 2016 preseason game Kaepernick took a knee before the anthem. When asked about this post-game Kaepernick replied with an intelligent answer “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.” Great work, Kaep. While Colin received a decent amount of praise for his actions, he more notably received a lot of hate for it. He was called an idiot, a racist, stuck-up, and in far too many cases the ‘n’ word. So to those haters I say, what is wrong with you? As an American he has every right to stand up for what he believes in. He has freedom of speech and he has every right to kneel during the National Anthem. Whether you agree with him or not is one thing, but to attempt to degrade or belittle him is beyond unnecessary.
Flash forward to today and Colin Kaepernick is still in the news. Despite consistently donating money ($1 million of his salary last year plus jersey royalties) to numerous charities and regularly working directly with at-risk youth, many people in and around the league as well as fans paint him out to be a bad guy.
Today, he doesn’t have a job on an NFL team. There have been two regular reasons as to why this is the case: Because isn’t good enough to play in the league and because he is a team distraction. To that I say, are you bleeping kidding me?
If you’re saying that he isn’t good enough to play in the league, then you’re just using that as a cover up for your thought process that borders on bigotry and ignorance. Last year Colin Kaepernick posted a passer rating of 90.7 in 12 games, good for 17th in the league. He also post 16 passing TDs compared to just 4 INTs to go with 450 rushing yards and a couple rushing touchdowns. His career passer rating is just a shade under 90 and he led the 49ers to the NFC Championship game twice. Don’t even try to tell me that isn’t good enough to have a job as a quarterback in the NFL.
Now on to the “issue” of him being a team distraction. How is it that he is a bigger team distraction than say, Ezekiel Elliott? I am using Elliott here as an example, there are PLENTY others like him. Ezekiel Elliott has a growing history of violence, including violence towards women. Yet for some reason he’s employed, called a good kid, and will be given numerous chances in the league. Colin Kaepernick, on the other hand, has no record of violence or illegal activities but he’s still known as a punk, a traitor, or a bigot. How is that? All Kaepernick did was speak out against the institutional racism that lies within much of the United States and its police force. We have seen the evidence that minorities are regularly treated far more unfairly than white people. So Kaepernick doesn’t have a job? Wow.
If I felt like biting my tongue I wouldn’t say this, but I’m not one to hold punches: It is incredibly clear with the Colin Kaepernick situation that the NFL has racism deeply rooted in it, and so do many of the leagues fans.
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