To boycott or not, this is the question of the Fall of 2017 for the National Football League.
Colin Kaepernick, the former QB of the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL created a plethora of conversations around the nation last year. His initial protest to sit during the National Anthem was to draw attention to police brutality toward unarmed citizens, specifically unarmed people of color. However, his protest was drowned by the voices of those who thought his form of protest was unpatriotic. To show it was not a matter of disrespect to soldiers, he took a knee to respect those who have fought and continue to fight for our right to have freedom of speech and freedom in general. Yet, it was not enough to appease many people who believed his protest was invalid and his measure of protest was disrespectful.
He became so polarizing and a hot button issue that when his contract was up, no team wanted to sign him– even in a back-up capacity. Players, Coaches and upper management believed he could help a team; yet, he remained unsigned. So why is he unsigned? There are a myriad of reasons why he is not signed, but the major reason appears to be his polarizing presence that would create a circus of attention in the locker room.
But when has the circus coming to town ever stopped all 32 teams from taking a chance on a player that could be a positive asset to the team. Mind you, the controversy around him is not about a criminal event. The controversy around him is not being a bad teammate. The controversy around him is not his inability to play the game. Well, his ability is little in question; but, many players feel even if he is not a starter he is a solid and capable quarterback insurance policy for the vast majority of teams in the league.
So, why is he not playing? The belief is he overstepped his bounds of topic. He was suppose to be a role model, but just on superficial issues or issues that have universal appeal and support.
Colin committed the grave sin of speaking on THE most hot button topic in America- Race. More specifically, Racial injustice and Racial inequity. His non-placement on a team can be cleverly disguised by multiple plausible reasons. However, anyone who is aware of his ability –and is honest–will agree that this (Race) is the largest slice of the pie if we completed a multiple regression analysis.
For many who view Kaepernick as a modern day Ali, who champions the voice of the voiceless and is willing to use–and sacrifice– his celebrity to take a stand on a topic often avoided, discounted and ignored, feel the need to stand behind him.
Not only for him, but for the others who are willing to continue this fight and for those daring souls who may attempt this fight in the future.
Economic castration is what will turn the engine of any vehicle that travels on the highway of capitalism. Many shout- BOYCOTT. Let’s hurt the NFL where it counts. No NFL until Colin is on a team!
Martin Luther King, Jr. stated that any man who hasn’t found something to die for, isn’t fit to live. Colin was willing to kill his career to stand on this point! I applaud him and those who support him!
However, let me ponder some reasons on how this boycott- has the right spirit, but is not suited for true victory. Low television numbers will get the attention of teams and the league. So, let’s say Colin gets a job– we will go back to watching? Then, I submit for your consideration that you are a cheap date.
If there is to be a boycott, why not let it last until more people of color are hired as head coaches and general managers. If there is to be a boycott, why not let it last until more women are highered on all levels in the league. If there is to be a boycott, why not let it last until all the former players who have mental and physical health issues are able to rest on the comfortable economic pillow their blood, sweat and tears created. If there is a boycott, why not let is lasts until there is true and honest conversation that leads to a change in the militaristic policing styles of far too many departments in urban communities.
My problem is not a boycott, my problem is boycott that comes with weak demands that allow all the true problem that persists to remain. Boycotts must have leaders to discuss the negotiations. Boycotts must have a collection of individuals who are persistence with unwavering support. Boycotts have to be more than just good people with good intentions willing to make a superficial sacrifice.
I am not boycotting for several reasons: There are several other brothers (some with different melanin levels) in the league who still need our support. Fighting for Colin is great, but even he would admit this is bigger than him- and was never intended to be about him.
I am not boycotting the NFL, but I am still going to fight the battle again police brutality in America. I am not boycotting the NFL, but I will use my ability to educate all on the need for equality. I am not boycotting the NFL, but I will write to every organization to tell them why I am disappointed in the league to–seemingly–consciously keep this young man out the league: and, then offer them some viable solutions. I am not boycotting the NFL, but I will not try persuade anybody else how to fight. So, if you want to not watch, do not watch. Do you! I applaud you. But remember, Like young David, we all have different weapons that can be effective in the battle. We have to use what we are trained to use, not what others may capriciously decide for the masses.
Let’s hope the NFL hears all its fans and works to unite the country in ways that sometimes only sports can do!
Blessings and Prayers