Kaepernick’s protest lives on!
COLIN Kaepernick lost the Super Bowl and is out of work, but history is going to remember him as a winner even if he never plays another NFL game again.
The mushrooming events of the NFL in recent weeks cemented his legacy and it could not be any greater even if he matched Tom Brady’s five Super Bowl victories. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback emerged as a rebel with a cause last summer: a message he sent by kneeling during the national anthem and one which mesmerised the United States and the whole world to some extent.
You may disagree with Kaepernick, who peacefully wanted to raise awareness of the social injustices in the US, but you cannot deny the lasting impression and the difficult but necessary discussions and reactions he has triggered.
So much has happened since Kaepernick first took a knee during a pre-season game last summer that it is easy to forget exactly what he said in explaining his action.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour,” the quarterback said at the time.
“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,” he said The cause of Kaepernick’s discontent was the rash of police shootings around the country that left African American citizens dead without retribution being paid by the accused officers. .Kaepernick, 29, hurt his cause even more last November when he declined to exercise his vote in the 2016 presidential election.
“I’ve been very disconnected from the systematic oppression as a whole,” Kaepernick said.“So, for me, it’s another face that’s going to be the face of that system of oppression. And to me, it didn’t really matter who went in there.
He said he was not even registered to vote. His stand on that subject was stupid and self-defeating.
On the other hand, Kaepernick has sacrificed his career, his time, his reputation, and a boatload of money to fight for his cause. The majority of us would not have the courage to do what he has done. Even though he was out of work this offseason, Kaepernick stood firm on his pledge to donate $1 million to organisations that he believes help communities. Some of those organizations are controversial, but it is his money and not everybody sees things the same way. He has also inspired others. Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins was always a thoughtful man, but the nudge from Kaepernick’s decision last season also made him a proactive one. You can see Jenkins every week during the season raising his right fist in protest of the same social injustices that fueled Kaepernick’s anthem kneel-down. What you don’t see as often is Jenkins taking the time to talk to law enforcement officials about how to improve relations between the police and African American communities. Is it not those actions that matter so much more than the anthem protests?
This, however, is so much bigger than Kaepernick’s initial message now.
It may have started as a party of one, but last weekend it reached its crescendo with the help of adversarial comments from President Trump at a campaign-style rally in Alabama.
The president wants the “SOBs off the field” and “fired” if they refuse to stand for “our great national anthem.”
Remarkably, the president managed to unite the players with the owners and even commissioner Roger Goodell, all of whom spoke out against Trump’s divisive remarks.
The best story of the week came out of Tennessee, where Titans receiver Rishard Matthews took a knee for the first time before his team’s home game against Seattle in response to Trump’s comments in Alabama.
He was not the only NFL player to do so, but his knee had more impact than most for a couple of reasons. He was Kaepernick’s former teammate at the University of Nevada and he is from a military family.
His father served in the military for 23 years and his brother was killed two years ago in Afghanstan. — The Enquirer.