3 Questions I’d Like To Ask Colin Kaepernick
Call me old school, but I still believe in that age old adage my mom taught me when I learned how to scoop the kitty litter for the first time: “There’s a RIGHT way & a WRONG way to do something!” Let’s explore which way #7 chose to do things last week while The Star-Spangled Banner blasted out from the loud speakers before the 49ers third preseason game versus the Packers:
Q: Who was the intended audience for your boycotting message?
Seeing as the majority of black Americans are already aware of and disgusted with these ongoing racial injustices, it’s pretty obvious that it was white America that you were really trying to reach.
Q: Did you have a specific goal in mind before you, a starting NFL QB and role model to millions of kids, chose not to stand or participate in respecting our flag during the playing of our National Anthem on a nationally televised broadcast?
You must have foreseen a potential outcome in which society was improved or made slightly better off as a result of your actions. Right??
REALLY, I’M CURIOUS.
If you weren’t really thinking about long term, viable solutions to solve this deep and ever widening rift in our society, and instead your goal was to shake up race relations even more while having every sports broadcaster in America debating about your stunt (and not the actual issues), then you definitely succeeded!
WAIT…WHAT IF YOUR GOALS WERE JUST? PURE? RIGHTEOUS?
In all honesty, you do hold an esteemed and well-regarded position in our society. Who better than you to finally bring about some lasting change? As a young, African American quarterback in the NFL, it doesn’t really get much better than leading your peers to a Super Bowl in your first season as a starter & keeping your nose pretty dang clean off the field.
IS THE JOKE REALLY ON US?
We might have this all wrong. What if you’ve been silently waiting for the day when you could put your hard-earned title to use for black America by making a TRULY HEARTFELT ATTEMPT to reach out to white America and bridging the divide? All my white friends, you all felt the love from Colin’s boycott efforts, right? I couldn’t have been the only who was inspired to drop what I was doing and take on Colin’s cause as my own. Colin, should I give you the benefit of the doubt and assume your express purpose in all of this was to generate much-needed dialogue about race warfare between our segregated communities? Is that how you expected me to respond to you disrespecting our anthem, flag and county? Should I pat you on the back for expressing. your 1st amendment rights in a subversive and passive aggressive way?
I’m being dead serious when I say, white, black or brown, I agree 100% that we are facing inequalities of an enormous scope built on systemic racism that has been dividing our nation at its foundations of since the Civil War ended. The flip side of this same coin is that these same social issues, if actually solved, have the POWER TO UNITE the people of our country for countless generations!
THAT’S IT KAEPERNICK! YOU MUST HAVE BEEN SO OVERWHELMED BY THIS VISION OF A UNITED AMERICA THAT YOU COULDN’T MUSTER THE STRENGTH TO STAND.
NAH. HERE’S THE HARD TRUTH:
If you were attempting to raise awareness and bring about change regarding systemic racism & police brutality…you missed the mark. By a lot.
Q: Did you actually think you’d accomplish your goal of effectively reaching white America by going about this the way you did? Knowing what you know about this demographic of people and what they hold near and dear to their hearts, did you think you’d generate anything besides feelings of disgust and isolation when you decided to boycott your country’s National Anthem?
FEW REMAINING SPHERES OF INFLUENCE
We ALL love sports. The drive to compete is universal. We all know that sports figures, especially NFL QBs, are heroes and role models for millions of kids around the USA both on and off the field. Like many of you are saying…our country is messed up, and athletes (like artists, actors and entrepreneurs) are one of the few remaining spheres of influence that our young people look up to and listen to. While every famous personality should absolutely have a mind of his/her own and speak up for what they believe in, I believe HOW they choose to stand up for their beliefs can be just as important as the belief itself. After some time, we may forget the exact words that were spoken or the url address of the charity that received the donations, but PEOPLE DON’T FORGET the passion, the heart and the ACTIONS of those that take a stand. That’s what role models teach us.
Q: Do you think there’s a chance that your comments would have been better received had you chosen to express them in a different way?
As many people supporting Colin’s behavior have pointed out, there are literally an infinite # of ways in which Colin could have chosen to take a stand against. racial oppression and police brutality. The problem is that he didn’t take the time to discover any of those alternatives. So many ways could have been positive, memorable and actually well planned out.
My brainstorming session left me with ideas of Touchdown celebrations, sharpie markers, a landing page, a music video with Lebron & Kanye…and the list goes on.
What are some creative ideas you might implement if you were a professional athlete and wanted to generate awareness about a very important issue facing our society?
WRAPPING THINGS UP.
Colin chose to boycott the one symbol that represents his freedom to boycott that very same symbol. A bit ironic? I’m not mad at him. I don’t hate him. To me, this highlights a fundamental flaw in his understanding of when something should be boycotted & what it means to actually boycott something.
How do you see it? If you were Colin would you boycott the National Anthem too or find something else?