As I write this article, people around the USA are protesting the wrongful death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. From the Twin cities to Ohio, from LA to Houston, people are angry & I do not blame them. Now, before I go any further, I chose to keep my name anonymous due to the fact that my views WILL ruffle some feathers. & for full disclosure, I am a white male.
I do not know what it is like to be a person of color in America. I do know, however, that racism is alive & well in this country. I know this because of one, singular, polarizing athlete: Colin Kaepernick. The mere mention of his name gets one of 2 reactions… “He’s a brave man who took a stand by taking a knee”, or the more common “He’s a dirty SOB who desecrated the flag by taking a knee”.
Here’s the problem I have with that statement… It was NEVER an attack on the flag; He actually consulted a US Marine on the proper way to protest. He started out just sitting during the anthem, but the Marine said to kneel, like you do when you’re praying. & what was he protesting? You guessed it… Police Brutality. & he did it without violence, without any real distraction, & did it the right way. But, how did our leader, the POTUS react? By calling him a “Son Of A Bitch”. Why? Why was that okay? If he had been a white man kneeling for Cancer research, he’d be a hero that everyone would look up to. But, since his complexion isn’t the same as mine, he’s a dirty slime ball who should be barred from the NFL.
History is doomed to be repeated if we do not learn from the past. I think this applies to both society & sports. Just look at the story of Muhammad Ali. I’m not going to go into great detail on Ali (you can google him if you need a refresher), but I honestly see Kaepernick going down that same path that Ali did. Remember, Ali was NOT a well liked individual by white people in his prime. He said things that were way ahead of the times. But, once he lost his voice to illness, he became “The Greatest”. Funny how that can happen, right? I can really see Kaepernick being looked back on as a great figure in history, on & off the field. He took the 49’ers to the Super Bowl, & if not for a blown call, might have actually won that game.
He also revolutionized the QB position, being a trailblazer for men like Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson & others. They actually had to change the rules on the Read-Option play because it was just too hard to defend otherwise. Hopefully, when the dust settles, people will see that when Kaepernick took a knee, it wasn’t to protest the flag; It was to say that what happened to George Floyd was not okay & that we NEED change. He was praying for change. But, that’s another article for another time.