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

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/25/22

3  Up 1. Albert Pujols - 700 homeruns is insane. Even through a generation of steroids, the number is incredibly exclusive (sans, you know, Bonds). So much props to Pujols who literally puts himself in some rarified discussions among the game's greatest.  Here are some quick thoughts from yours truly on Pujols hitting 700 .  2. PATHFINDER - The fight against cancer just got a smidge better. GRAIL announced results from their PATHFINDER study that may have found ways to provide early detection screening to significantly enhance the discovery of cancer well before symptoms begin.  I accidentally ran into this story - why isn't this more headline news? SMH.  3. Pandemic Over? - The World Health Organization (remember them, before everyone suddenly became public health experts) described COVID as an "acute global emergency". Going even further, announced that 20M global deaths were avoided last year due to vaccines. Just outright amazing.  3 Down 1. Brett Favre - No resp

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 10/2/22

3 Up 1. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - Just when you lose faith in the purpose of the internet and social media challenges, this OG of social media trends pops up to remind us of when the internet was a source of good powers. All jokes aside, it is pretty awesome to see such a trend make a true difference, and not just for internet clout.  2. Aaron Judge - 61 home runs. Just unreal stuff from the big man. Keep it going.  3. John Cena  - Speaking of unreal, I honestly don't think Cena gets enough credit for his Make-a-Wish efforts. Kudos to Cena for the consistency, and for doing so with an extraordinarily busy schedule.  3 Down 1. Hurricane Ian - Florida is in absolute shambles. So many homes were lost. So many lives were ruined. Keep so many of these people in your thoughts, prayers, vibes, and everything else.  2. NFL and Tua - Everything - EVERYTHING - about the Tua situation is why I find football such a tough sport for me to consume regularly. Shame on the NFL for Tua even being

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 6/19/22

3 Up 1. Father's Day and Juneteenth - A combined weekend of all-sort of celebrations, reflections, and appreciation. Sending gratitude and good vibes to all fathers, substitute fathers, step-in fathers, mentors, and figures who have helped shape the lives of many.  Also, take some time to reflect and think through the reflective day that is Juneteenth - new to so many - of the horrific start to our country's existence, and the freedom that came after a century of captivity.  2. Ashley Adirika - This is a dope story. It's the kind of story that is amazing and quite frankly, inspirational. Adirika, a Florida teen, graduates high school with offers from all Ivy schools and many more top institutions in the country. If that wasn't enough, Ashley also started her own non-profit organization to help mentorship for young women.  Unbelievably amazing.  3. Steph Curry - My dude was cooking! Steph continues to be one of my favorite athletes, and such a joy to watch. I was there

5 Thoughts on Pujols Hitting 700

It almost feels like the negative vitriol that surrounded Major League Baseball and its labor issues have dissipated into an air of forgetfulness and forgiveness. A season that has brought us old-school lore with the chasing of historical numbers by way of Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, and the likes of a modern-day Babe Ruth, in another dominant season by Shohei Ohtani, would ultimately do that. Sprinkle in some amazing rookies on the rise, and all of sudden it's, what did I say about baseball's treatment of fans? It's been some season... In this post, I want to focus on Albert Pujols...the "King", the "Machine", one of the greatest ever. After hitting a historic 700th Home Run ( by the way, I definitely predicted that back in March  - just humble-bragging a bit), I wanted to drop five (fitting, yeah?) thoughts on Albert Pujols:  GREATEST EVER?! - Pujols' career often feels like the Angels' years were some sort of nightmare or a bad edition in a