Colin Kaepernick. The NFL and Black August


Tiny - Posted on 11 August 2017

Author: 
Leo Stegman
I was born in the City of Steel aka  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when the Steelers came in the National Football League (NFL) and began their climb as the greatest football franchise in the history of the NFL.  As a life long football fan, watching football games is something I have enjoyed for the majority of my life.  As it was quoted in the film “Concussion”  it was said that “the NFL has its own day of the week”.  
 
But hearing about the toll that football takes on the player’s brains and bodies, it always make me feel like it is a blood sport. So as I grow more mature, a sense of guilt enters my consciousness when I watch a football game.  Since 67.3 percent of the players are African-Americans, it compounds this issue. To see so many young men that look like me subjecting themselves to a lifetime of serious and debilitating and permanent injuries saddens me. Yet, I still consider myself a football fan.
 
For the most part, I consider myself a radical and progressive, and many of my fellow progressives take the position that sports, like religion, are the opiate for the mass. Since we are in the throws of Black August, I would like to point out the Black Radical Tradition in  African –American in Sports.  Jack Johnson defied the myth of White Supremacy just by winning the Heavyweight  Championship, by dominating his White opponents with a swagger that for lack of a better term was unquestionably Black.  Paul Robeson, a great radical who was at two times All-American in football, was the 3rd African – American enrolled at Rutgers University. 
 
 In addition, 9 years before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the Montgomery  Bus Boycott  Jackie Robinson not only integrated  Major League Baseball but became one of its greatest players of all-time while having to subjugate himself to extreme racist harassment and abuse. There are a plethora of Black Folks that have spoken truth to power  that I have to mention such as Muhammad Ali, John Carlos, Tommie Smith, Kurt Flood, Glenn Burke, Serena  Williams, Venus Williams, Arthur Ashe, Dominique Dawes,  Althea Gibson,  Wilma Rudolph , Jim Brown  and Kareem  Abdul- Jabber.
 
America attempts puts out the myth that society is a meritocracy, that this is a country of second chances and we all have freedom of speech.  The NFL prides itself on diversity and acceptance. As fans we often hear the marketing ploy that regardless of race, color, creed, religion or political belief teammates are joined together in that singular task of winning football games, and regardless of your background the individuals that are the most talented that give the players the best chance to win make an NFL Football Squad.  The above mentioned are lies and BS.
 
Last Black August, Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers decided that he would no-longer stand for the National Anthem played before each football game as a protest of the Police killing of African Americans.  This protest eventually developed into taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem before that game.  As of the date of the article, there has never been any rule obligating players to stand during the National Anthem, so Colin Kaepernick was just exercising the right to Free Speech in one of the most passive protests, just choosing to take a knee during the playing of the National Anthem.    
 
The protest caught storm with both professional and amateur athletes through out the nation. And many professional football players stood beside Colin Kaepernick during his protest.  Two of Mr. Kaepernick’s teammates (Eric Reid and Eli Harrold), kneeled with Colin Kaepernick during his protest.
 
Last year the 49ers were the second worst team in the league, yet Colin Kaepernick had a decent season coming off an injury.  He was rated 17th of all starting quarterbacks with a less than average complement of offensive teammates. As of the date of the article, Colin has not signed with any team for such a passive and peacefully protest in standing up for Black People.  Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, which is known as America’s Team spoke against anybody who protested by not standing for National Anthem. We all deserve a second chance.
 
 So, I will not call out players by name. I hope that these men are better men now and learned from their mistakes.  Under Jerry Jones ownership a player has been caught smoking crack with a sex worker in hotels, drove automobiles while under the influence of alcohol, had an accident in which a Cowboy teammate died, domestic violence, theft, using performance enhancement drugs (PED). 
 
 A tape surfaced of Philadelphia Eagle’s Wide Receiver calling Black folks “Niggers”, and he was not banished for the league or even his team, and Black Players were told to suck it up.  By the Press. The profile of NFL Owners are male, White and Rich, and they love the status quo of America. They don’t  give a damn about Black People dying at the hands of the Police. 
 
 Hell, they really don’t give damn about Black People period.
The situation with Colin not being under contract is not about talent, he is an above average quarterback, and is not the fans.  Let's remember this is not a second chance, Kaepernick broke no law are NFL rule. None of the 59 NFL players that support or participate with Kaepernick were black balled from the NFL. So why Colin Kaepernick? During this off season, Colin said he would not protest during the National Anthem.  Because he was a leader and started a protest in which thousands of young athletes followed by taking a knee. 
 
 He is a threat to the status quo of American. Black people loving and caring about Black Folks is an Un-American act.  To identify with Africans and Africa goes against the lies that we are indoctrinated with in school.  As parolees and poor people are disregarded, to be given as suit upon release is not what young millionaires are supposed to do. If you spend money at a Strip Club, cool. Colin Kaepernick has the nerve to stand up like a  man. The NFL wants to make an example to all those stand-up.  I'm a Steelers Fan and the Baltimore Ravens are the Steelers nemesis, but If Kaepernick were to sign with the Ravens I would buy a Kaepernick Jersey. 

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