Colin Kaepernick has filed a lawsuit against the NFL accusing the NFL of collusion. Many people are stating he is a crybaby, he is not good enough to play in the league, he cannot win the lawsuit or he is getting what he deserves. In my opinion, everybody is wrong, even people who support Colin are stating he may be making a mistake by filing the lawsuit.
Everyone believes Colin has filed the lawsuit with expectations of winning or getting back in the league, I would like to present a different point of view. I believe Colin wants to play in the NFL again but I believe he realizes this is no longer a possibility. Everything Colin has done until this point has been a selfless act, therefore why shouldn’t we assume this lawsuit is a selfless act. By filing this lawsuit, it may prevent other players who have kneeled from losing their jobs. The lawsuit will expose any conversation by the owners on how they will address players who knelt. Jerry Jones comments about players not playing who knelt offer an insight into how the owners may be thinking. If the owners have not colluded up until this point the lawsuit may prevent them from colluding in the future and this will benefit the players. There have been some commentators expressing the concern of his choice of lawyers because they believe Mark Geragos is a celebrity attorney. They believe a celebrity attorney will bring the wrong type of attention to this situation. I think a Mark Geragos or an attorney like him is the correct move, the NFL and/or the media have changed the narrative surrounding Colin’s protest. Geragos has the ability to change the narrative again, he can expose the NFL on several fronts not just regarding Colin. The media likes to portrait that most of the country is against Colin the reality may be that most of the country may support him. This has come down to public perception, the media, NFL, and the President have a stranglehold on public perception. Geragos may have the ability to loosen that hold.
I leave you with two quotes from Sun Tzu “If His forces are united, separate them.” If some of the owners partook in the collusion this will force the others to separate themselves, therefore making them weaker. “Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear; then he will be amenable to your will.” These owners are powerful white men, they are used to being in control and not answering to others. The lawsuit will seize some of their power, this will make them uncomfortable and lead to mistakes. People must understand this is not Colin Kaepernick’s war it is everyone’s war.
Colin Kaepernick reason for his protest was clearly stated, he is protesting police brutality with regards to people of color and how we receive no justice because of police brutality. The media, fans, a government is trying to change the narrative, they are stating this protest is disrespectful to the veterans. Honestly, they have done a good job at changing the narrative, the country is divided. There are many people who believe the players are disrespecting the veterans. The other day I was a post on twitter where someone posted a picture of a soldier’s coffin with the flag on it and his wife next to the coffin crying. The statement was (paraphrasing) “How could you see this and take a knee.” Since people are so concerned about the veterans and feel the players are disrespecting veterans let’s talk about how the veterans are being really disrespected and these patriots are not upset about these issues.
First, there are many veterans who own small businesses the government has contracts set-a-side for these veteran-owned small businesses. These set-a-sides are supposed to ensure that a portion of the government contracts is given to veteran-owned businesses. The government issues billions of dollars in contracts, therefore, to me it seems like a no-brainer if a veteran-owned business has the capability to fulfill the needs of the contract they should be awarded the contract. The government has a rule of two, which states if at least two veterans owned submitted competitive bids for a contract the contract should go to the veteran-owned business. The government has been finding ways to circumvent this rule and adhere to the Veterans First Choice program. Veterans owned businesses have been in court fighting against this for years, they have recently won a ruling that is in favor of the veterans (Kingdomware). After winning this ruling the government is still not awarding some contracts to veteran-owned businesses. Now you ask how does this hurt veterans, these are veteran-owned small businesses these veterans support their families from these businesses and they employ other veterans. Many of these business owners are disabled veterans. So why would the federal government avoid providing opportunities to the people who risked their lives for the country? Who is getting these contracts? The businesses who when these contracts are they connected to the decision makers?
Secondly, health care for veterans. There is a high rate of veterans who are mentally ill and homeless. Why aren’t the part-time patriots outraged about this? The recent Graham-Cassidy health care bill that was supposed to replace Obama Care was opposed by veterans because the bill would have harmed veterans. Luckily the bill did not receive the necessary votes but for some reason, no one was concerned about the veterans. The way the current health provided to veterans is good if the veteran has access to a VA hospital but many veterans do not reside near a VA hospital. These veterans who do not live near a VA hospital must see private physicians, once the veterans see a private physician the way the health benefits are structured changes meaning theirs out of pocket expenses increase.
I contest that these part-time patriots do not really care about veterans because if they really cared about veterans there are more pressing issues to address. I believe everyone in this country admires and respects veterans, veterans have made the ultimate sacrifice. Arguing that NFL players are disrespecting the veterans by kneeling is a ludicrous point of view. I would like to see the same energy for issues the really affect veterans lives and livelihoods.
This past weekend we witness a large portion of the NFL react to Donald Trump’s statement which he indicates any player who kneels during the National Anthem should be fired. The media and the public have praised many of the players and owners for opposing Trump and taking a knee or showing so another form of gesture during the anthem. I respect the unity and the heart to stand against the Donald Trump but part of me is disappointed.
The reason why I am somewhat disappointed is the fact that the reason Colin Kaepernick started sitting and then kneeling during the national anthem was to protest police brutality and the injustice towards black people. The fact that INNOCENT black people being slaughtered in the streets by the police and receiving no justice for these atrocities was not a good reason to take a knee. Some have only taken a knee because Trump called the league out and threaten their livelihood. Now the media is talking about every team who performed some gesture but NO ONE is talking about the injustice that started Colin on this crusade. The murder of Tamar Rice, Alton Sterling, Philando Castiel, or Freddy Gray wasn’t good enough to stand up against the system but an empty threat was the catalyst for your resistance. During all this kneeling we find out the T-Boz, of TLC, a relative was murdered by the police and this instance was barely reported. If not for T-Boz we may not have heard about this killing.
So what you took a knee, the reason for the knee as not been addressed and we are still be murdered by the people sworn to protect us. For all the black NFL players who did not want knee before the Donald Trump statement, you do not have to take a knee but you should donate money to the fight. There are many street-level organizations fighting the good fight you can donate too. There is no excuse for failing your people if you do not want to use your voice then use your wallet.
By now everyone has heard about or seen the video involving Seattle Seahawk player Michael Bennett. The video shows Bennett being detained by the police when he has not committed any crime, the only thing he is guilty of is being black. Bennett describes how he was forced to the ground, had a gun pointed at his head, and threaten if he did not follow the police orders.
One of the arguments presented against Colin Kaepernick when he was protesting was that as a rich, famous athlete he is subject to this type of behavior from law enforcement. The arguments were basically why do you care it will never happen to you. With this incident involving Michael Bennett that argument is thrown in the garbage where it should have been from the beginning.
All these recent incidents with police killing black people, the police brutalizing minorities and wrongfully arresting minorities are not something new. The masses like to believe these incidents are outliers but in the black community, we know these are everyday occurrences. The videos are just allowing the world see a small snippet of what we go through in America. Even with these videos there has still been no justice for the victims. What people have to realize the amount of incidents that are not caught on camera and the number of years we have been experiencing these atrocities. There are numerous organizations such as the Innocence Project who have been getting wrongfully convicted people out of jail. Wrongfully convicting someone is police brutality. Shaun King has written these wonderful article exposing a corrupt police precinct in the Bronx.
Also when we talk about the police shooting there are individuals who like to bring up black on black crime. First, the black people who commit these crimes against other black people are criminals, so to equate police shooting to black on black crime you have to admit the police who commit these killings are criminals. Therefore the police who shoot unarmed citizens are criminals and should be treated as such.
No matter how rich or famous one becomes they will not be able to avoid the black experience if he or she is black. Michael Bennett happens to be one of the professional athletes who uses his fame to speak out on these issues, I believe this experience will be additional motivation for him. And Mr. Bennett I am ready to fight with you.
Colin Kaepernick is still without an NFL job, the people who are against Kap are reciting his stats trying to implicate it is his play for the reason that he is not in the league. Even if his play has diminished recently he is still admittedly better than half of the quarterbacks currently in the league. As a result of his unemployment, there are some leaders in the community call for a boycott of the NFL.
Rev. K.W. Tulloss, the western regional director of the National Action Network, has organized a protest to take place in the state of California with the first one taking place outside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on August 12th. It is my opinion these protests need to take place in each NFL city. People of color should not only protest at the stadium but we should not watch the games, go to bars to watch games, no football pools, no betting on games, no Fan Duel or Draft Kings. The owners claim the fans and ticket holders do not want Kap playing, therefore, we have to make them respect the ones who believe he should be playing. The next step after this would be to boycott NFL sponsors. All NFL players who are African-American and those who support this fight should not play one game collectively. Just imagine one Sunday there is no one of color playing football, they would have to cancel the game. I know this maybe far fetched but there has to be a point where we operate in unison.
One other thing regarding this issue is the false narrative that Kap is disrespecting the veterans. One he never said anything disparaging about veterans, and what about veterans who are related to these victims, what about the veterans who have had a negative experience with the police. This argument is ridiculous because if he was protesting another issue would there be any outrage? Remember the WNBA players were not allowed to wear Black Lives Matter shirts but they were encouraged to wear shirts in support of the Orlando shooting victims. So we can see professional sports does not have a problem with athletes bringing attention to issues that do not directly concern people of color.
People have to understand this is bigger than Colin Kaepernick if they are allowed to silence him all athletes will be silenced. This is laying the ground work for individuals to lose employment based on their opinions about society’s mistreatment of a particular group of people. As a people how could you live with yourself if you do not stand for a man who put everything on the line for you? People will say he is not a hero or his action was not heroic but history tells us differently. People will deem someone a hero for what he or she does on the field or court but the real heroism takes place off the field or court.
Definition of Hero by Merriam-Webster: a person admired for achievements and noble qualities; one who shows great courage; the central figure in an event, period, or movement.
America has an infatuation with heroes, a large part of movies and television shows are based on or about a hero. Entertainment vehicles such as The Avengers, Logan, Dare Devil, Luke Cage, and Flash are successful partly because of the hero concept. Therefore, part of the American citizens may welcome a heroic figure. I am not saying Colin is a hero, I am just asking the question is he a hero based on the definition and his recent action.
I know many people consider him more of a villain than a hero, people believe he is disrespecting the flag and the country, but one has to remember with any iconic or great individual there has always been a fraction of society that does not agree with iconic figure’s position or actions. Martin Luther King, Jr; Malcolm X; and Muhammed Ali have been vilified during the height of their life mission. Now many consider them heroes, legends, or historical figures. Everyone knows at this point that Kaepernick decided to protest against the way black individual have been treated in America, especially by the judicial system and /or law enforcement. His individual protest had gained national attention, most of the attention may be negative attention. As a result Colin career is jeopardy, now some say he is no longer a good quarterback and that is why he is currently unemployed. But there are lesser skilled QBs and QBs will less accomplishments still employed in the NFL. One thing will never know is if Colin did not protest would he still be unemployed at this point of free agency. Colin has put his career and financial stability online to speak for those will lesser of a voice and bring worldwide attention to the issues that are affecting the black community. I know there were individuals who told Colin to give up his protest because it would have a negative effect on his football career, but Colin decided that his message is more important than the potential loss of income. With death threats and the threat of losing employment in an area he has dedicated entire life to participate in, if not heroic it is honorable. So often the black community look for celebrities and athletes to take a stand against injustice, now that one celebrity has taken a stand, will we stand with him. I asked the question is Colin Kaepernick a modern day hero because if he is a hero we should celebrate his heroism now, instead of after he has pasted or years after his protest. Not only did he protest Colin put in his time and money to help improve the injustice and inequality that affects the world.