Sports and politics
Why protests in sports don’t really work.
Colin Kaepernick is doing well but he needs to do more. His team is 1–10, it reflects on him as the leader of the team for him to do more. Speak up more, play better, win a game. That’s what he needs to do in order for his protest of kneeling during the anthem to work. He needs to prove to people he can win so that people don’t believe that his protest is a publicity stunt.
As Colin and his team continue to lose games, the more his performance takes center stage over the protest. That gives Colin’s motivation to protest evermore irrelevant.
This means Colin Kaepernick and others will have to prove themselves to be relevant with wins and with effective communication to the public. That’s when your protests succeed.
Martin Luther King Jr gained more notoriety due to his ability to gather the people with his speaking as a religious leader for African Americans to look up to. If King’s public speaking was poor, people would be less likely to participate. The same can be said for Colin, if his performance is as deflated as what he is facing right now sitting at 1–10; his concerns and protest is ever so slightly discredited.
Colin Kaepernick is a symbol of protest. He was the first kneel and he continues to stand (or kneel) by it. But the problem of losing is really affecting the issue at hand where Colin is concerned. Colin Kaepernick’s pedigree is reflected by his record of wins. No matter what, that is his body of work, he has to be successful in order for this point to get across effectively. You won’t trust what your lawyer says if his record of wins was 1–10. So why would you trust and believe in a sports player who’s intellect, I would argue, is worse than lawyers; for a protest that you sort of don’t respect. It’s tough for people to by on his side when his performance, like his protest is hard to respect.
In a wider scope, the only other reason for people to discredit Colin is based on cultural barriers, systematic failures, and racial tension that is deeply rooted in American history. This can’t really be changed. It could only be evolved and dissipated among the public. However, the negative view of most in of the population makes Colin an underdog of his protest.
However, the protest isn’t truly about the national athem. It’s about the symbol the anthem stands for and the reasons behind Colin not “ standing” for it. I think people would be less offended if Colin protested elsewhere. Or if Colin was in a different profession, maybe his protest would seem reasonable to people. For now, when Colin continues to protest, his performance will determine how receptive his protest will be.
Over the years sport protests never really work. People don’t want politics to be involved in their past time activities. This is just a simple look at things. I’m sure there are more elements that contribute to the issue. Yet in a sense, I don’t want characters in my video games to be protesting political issues, when I’m playing it. So in a way, Sunday night football is something sacred to many, so who is Colin Kaepernick to disrupt the natural order of American Football.
Cowin Poon • TORONTO 2016