First off, shout out to Issa Rae for starting the trend. Second, this is not against any non-person of color, but by being a person of color myself, I have to pull for people that look like me.
This is not about a man trying to get his job back. This is about a man whose name is now synonymous with social injustice. At Blerd we can only dream for our names to be synonymous with representation. A quick background on the man that is Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick was born in 1987 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Heidi Russo, who is white. His birth father, who is African-American, separated from Russo before Kaepernick was born. Russo placed Kaepernick for adoption with a white couple named Rick and Teresa Kaepernick. From that humble background, Colin grew up to be one of the most controversial quarterbacks in NFL history.
In the 49ers third preseason game of the 2016 season, Kaepernick was noticed sitting down during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as opposed to the tradition of standing. During a post-game interview, he explained his position stating, “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”, referencing a series of African-American deaths caused by law enforcement that led to the Black Lives Matter movement and adding that he would continue to protest until he feels like “[the American flag] represents what it’s supposed to represent”.
In the 49ers fourth and final preseason game, Kaepernick kneeled during the U.S. national anthem to show more respect to former and current U.S. military members while still protesting during the anthem after having a conversation with former NFL player and U.S. military veteran Nate Boyer. After the September 2016 police shootings of Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott, Kaepernick commented publicly on the shootings saying, “this is a perfect example of what this is about”.
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 Colin Kaepernick
That’s how the madness started and the backlash he faced was incredible! Anti-supporters burned his jersey and boycotted Nike. People told Kap to shut up and play football or told him to find another way to peacefully protest. This continued until he was unemployed from the national football league. A man who was one play away from going to the Super Bowl and losing to the eventual champions could no longer play football as a starter, backup or third string for any of the 32 teams in the league because he decided to make a stand and start the discussion about black lives.
But I root for you Kap, not to get you employed (we would love to see that also) but as an activist. I love the narrative shift that police can not just gun down innocent blacks, go on paid leave, and it get it swept under the rug. I love that people are having the hard discussion about Black Lives Matter. I love that you cannot silence us because we will be heard loud and clear during a silent protest.
I love football too, but to keep it real in a league full of habitual woman beaters, rapist, drug abusers and murders you draw the line at Colin Kaepernick kneeling? Something tells me that him still not having a job offer after his recent workout is more than football. Like I previously stated this is not about him getting his job back. This is much bigger then that. For that, I stand with you Kap.