Skip to main content

Not Surprised: Latest Thoughts on Kaepernick


Let's quickly put football aside. As you know, I've given up on watching the NFL, so I'm not sure exactly how well - or terribly - Colin Kaepernik played last season from the eye test. But let's be honest, truly honest, he's not the worst quarterback on the market. In fact, I truly believe that no one thinks he's still looking for work because he can't play. 

The Miami Dolphins just fished (pun intended) a quarterback out of retirement, and even tossed around the idea of doing the same for Tim Tebow, who now plays baseball. So there's that. 

So yeah, this isn't about football performance. I'm not letting anyone fool me on that one. And neither should you. 

And all you have to do is look at the recent newswire to see other players with domestic violence charges, sexual accosting, drug use, and various other offenses, who are receiving second, third, and even, fourth chances! Wasn't Adam "Pacman" Jones suspended, again?!

Nope. Character isn't part of this situation, either. 

But yet, somehow the narrative surrounding Kaepernick has become about everything else but the intention of his protest - injustice in America. 

And while the irony of his protest has also sent some of that good ol' fashioned "Murica" unfairness his way, it's being rooted in bias, yet covered with just about everything else. And that includes the recent "rally for Kaepernick" promoted by Spike Lee. That too is misguided, and in some ways, a joke as well. 

This isn't about getting Kap a job in the NFL. This isn't about owners colluding and the players union not coming to his defense - though those are both shameful acts and incredibly egregious. This is about a man who utilized his freedom of speech, in a sport which can be generalized as America's religion - which thus bothers some even more, and garnered attention doing so in a society that has a history of not wanting to come to grips with it's racial injustice, or even yet, the shortcomings of what America is, to what we like to think and believe it is. 

That bothers us. That bothers Americans. Especially, those who are afraid to come to grips with that reality. 

How dare he not stand for the anthem!!!

In doing a little research, the same things were said about Rosa Parks when ironically, she refused to stand - and offer her seat to another human being, who society dictated had rights to it based on lighter skin pigmentation. Oh how quickly we forget.

Or how about the names used towards Muhammad Ali when he declined the military draft and wasn't interested in, "going overseas to kill brown people who haven't done anything to me." 

Not to mention, there are others who took a knee along with Kap week after week, including Megan Rapinoe for US Soccer, a white woman, who has made various comments about the awareness for equal treatment and action toward racial injustice in this country. 


No, this isn't about Patriotism, either. It amazes me how white America likes to twist and believe they set the bar on what "loving this country" requires. 

For me, it comes back to a VERY good question Trevor Noah asked Tomi Lahren in an interview a few months ago - how exactly is a black man supposed to protest in America? It's a daunting and scary question that left even the quick-mouthed Lahren stumbling for a retort, because the answers are extremely limited, if not, non-existent. 


As Kaepernick awaits an opportunity to continue his career, I'm reminded of one of my favorite books, Friday Night Lights, and it's raw and authentic dissection of how sports and our allegiance to it can some times mask racism and bias:
If the season could ever have any salvation, if it could ever make sense again, it would have to come tonight under a flood of stars on the flatiron plains, before thousands of fans who had once anointed him the chosen son but now mostly thought of him as just another nigger.
As I mentioned when this all started - I supported, and still agree with his protest. America is racially unjust. America must deal with it's past. And of course, I want America to heal and deal with this, correctly. 

Nonetheless, I am not surprised at all that he is on the outs. We've seen spectacles and side shows in the past in the NFL (see: Plaxico Burress, Tim Tebow, etc...), thus, eliminating the super lame media circus excuse as well. 

It's quite a shame. 

Because this isn't even about Kap. Somehow, we've come to the point where the focus isn't on black and brown bodies being killed in the streets, of systemic racism and mass incarceration, of stolen land, of equality, or, you know, like GETTING CLEAN WATER FOR FLINT. 

No. 

Somehow, this has spiraled into football statistics, sports radio hot takes, misguided rallies, a faux infraction of an unwritten rule of Patriotism (for some), and the continued empowerment of the established structure in place that warns - if you go against the system in place, this is what will become of your career (you). 

It's more of the same...just more of the same. So, no. I'm not shocked at all. 

This is after all, America. 

Recently Read Posts

Dope Sports Threads - Nike City Connect Series (Kansas City Royals)

The Kansas City Royals' City Connect uniforms were a design that I wholeheartedly looked forward to. The Royals' current uniforms and aesthetics are some of the best in baseball, and for a city like Kansas City, it just feels like there was enough room creatively to do something historically enlightening (more so something many do not already know about the city), or a simple approach that builds off of the current design.  To be honest, it may sound simple, but the use of "blue" by the Royals is fantastic.  What we got is a concept that continued the awesome blue approach, with a design concept that is just as cool as their everyday threads. However, where I feel disappointed is the safe approach to this. I would have loved to see them lean into the rich history of the Negro Leagues that is Kansas City - a team (and city) able to do so more than others. That could have been really cool, enriching, meaningful, and somewhat different from the norm - maybe even an ode t

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 5/15/22

3 Up 1. California Church Heroes - It's soooooooo weird that the top spot is a result of something so horrific as our ongoing domestic terrorism problem of mass shootings. Still, the courage shown by the five members who stopped the shooter deserves it. Those individuals tackled the shooter and tied him up with an electric cord, while wounded.  It's so tough to fathom that those possibilities are within the realm of your Sunday worship, within the sanctity of your church.  But such is America... 2. Olivia Rodrigo & Drake - Rodrigo continues to reap rewards on an excellent album in 2021 as she topped the Billboard Music Awards with seven awards. There was also Drake who I'm beginning to sense we won't really appreciate his body of work until he's near the end of his career. But yeah, Drake poured in a few more for the legacy debates and discussions.

Back of a Church - Revived and Confused

Last week, I found myself in the back of a church service. For the first time in years, I was seated in God’s house. It was redeeming. It was joyous. It was uplifting. It was long overdue. It was also conflicting. Very conflicting. This moment was a culmination of the see-saw contention that has been the road traveled by my heart and soul since my last time present with a congregation. A lot has happened since that last time, and as I’m sure you’ve experienced, the world has endured and changed quite a bit since then too.  I’ve maintained my faith through that entire time. Though, it did wane and weigh throughout moments, periods, happenings, and various reflections. We all have our struggles. There were moments I failed. And others where I've held on steadfastly. Regardless, it continued as a vital source of my existence - my faith, my substance for being, and my purpose for existing.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 2/27/22

3 Up 1. Volodymyr Zelensky - The President of Ukraine delivered a speech this week that certainly went viral not just for his take as the current war on Ukraine ensues, but for his honesty and courage throughout it.  2. Kentaji Brown Jackson - In a world on fire, here at home President Biden nominated Jackson, who becomes the first black woman to serve on the highest court in the nation. That's so cool. I'm happier for the tons of little girls of color who can dream of being a Supreme Court Judge, and now believe it.