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As you know, this has been a headline in America for the past few years since the first time Colin Kaepernick sat on the bench during an NFL preseason game. It has gone from “seemingly” offensive, to troubling and to now what I feel like is a complete inspiration. Yes, I said Colin Kaepernick is an inspiration for us all. So is Nike. Here’s why I feel like this is the case.

At the time when all of this began, Kaepernick was only 27 years old. Some of us tend to forget how much of a hot mess we were at 27 and then proceed to judge ceaselessly without listening. Let’s get this straight, judgment in itself is wrong, wrong and wrong.

I don’t know where that shit came from that it was ok to judge people, especially for expressing their constitutional right. But, that’s a whole other article, right now I would like to draw your attention to why this man is an inspiration for us all, yes, even Billy Bob and Bubba who live in Alabama and rock a rebel flag on the front lawn.

In the midst of hatred, disdain and disgust for his actions, Colin Kaepernick stood his ground. As the Nike ad said, he believed in something so much that he was willing to sacrifice everything for it. WOW! You have to imagine that in a world filled with people pleasers and people his age who can’t keep their heads out of their phones, this is truly remarkable for a man only 27 years old.

He was called, Nigger, boy, dog, ungrateful, spook among other things and did not once, lash back at these people who claim to be America’s finest. The resolve this must have taken could not have endured with just some average Joe. Kaepernick showed us clearly that, AS LONG AS YOU’RE ROOTED IN WHO YOU ARE, WHO CARES WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS.

That brings me back to the notion of people pleasers. We don’t know it, but this is extremely dangerous to all of us. It shows that we have absolutely no idea about what we feel strongly towards.

So in essence, we keep our heads down, walk the opposite way or keep our mouths shut for fear of offending someone else. It’s an epidemic that needs to stop. We need to encourage everyone around us to have a respectful opinion, but to also be open to others without judging or being emotionally triggered.

Speaking of being triggered, oh my! That N-I-G-G-E-R WORD that would have the most tranquil black man up in arms. I speak as one respectively, having gone through the process being one of the few African Americans in my school. Unless you’ve lived a past life as a person of color, or had kids that are African American, there’s not a chance in hell that you would know what we go through in a situation as such.

I don’t say this to create a black power movement, I just say it in the sense that I would never know what it feels like to be a wealthy caucasian male in a country club who plays golf and has a net worth of $50 million.

Even when my net worth reaches $50 million dollars, it won’t matter because some people will always see your color first. That’s a truth you discover early on. And this is what Colin Kaepernick endured. Once seen as the next great quarterback of the 49ers, now was seeing as just another nigga unaware of what his position should be.

Some people may say, “Well, I never called him that.” I got news for you, if you said, “You better know your place, respect the flag, honor a song about slavery and realize how grateful you are to be making as much money and blah, blah blah.” Ahh you just called him one, without saying it verbally. Case closed!

Still, Kaepernick didn’t fire back. Now understand something here. The amount of energy created and directed towards him, backed by hatred, would cause 9.5/10 men to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. For the average man, this is just too much to absorb so he has to deal with it in some way. But Colin Kaepernick didn’t turn to drug addiction or alcohol, he just kept his resolve.

The NFL owners decided they would turn their backs on him also. You would think that some of the richest guys on the planet would be able to be progressive enough to see the real message behind the kneeling. NOT A CHANCE! You remember when I said, you can call a man the N-word without even saying it? Enter Jerry Jones, the ring leader.

NFL (Photo Credit)

His comments were absolutely outrageous and then they had the nerve to invite him to a meeting in which he was being bashed by the NFL faithful. You’d think this was the breaking point for Colin Kaepernick, but it wasn’t. Even when his girlfriend almost went nuts on Twitter, Kap continued to use his platform to teach about police brutality and inspire kids to follow their hearts.

In the face of so much adversity, this man was expanding. He was growing in a way that should make anyone proud. But it hasn’t, and I’m going to give you the answer why it hasn’t. People are interesting creatures. Most are creatures of habit who pick up beliefs and conditioning and never let it go. Then one day out of nowhere, those beliefs and conditioning are triggered and whoa Nelly, look out! It’s even more dangerous when anger is involved. This is when you see the burning of the jerseys which is very symbolic of the burning at the stake.

To be crucified for something you believe so strongly in, is an absolute shame,, especially in America. Our beliefs are our truth for that moment and we are entitled to them in every way, but not at the expense of hurting others.When this happens it creates a division among people who are supposed to be united. THAT ALL STARTS WITH LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE.

Just imagine for a second what we could truly see if we wiped out all of the egotistical, hatred filled, negative beliefs about this entire situation and step into LOVE, TRUTH AND ACCEPTANCE. Could you imagine what the world would see? It would look a lot like this:

The truth of the matter is that Colin Kaepernick started kneeling to draw attention to Police brutality against young African Americans. He felt that if he could use his platform to draw attention to the problem, it had the potential to be solved. He wasn’t attempting to be against white people or say people of color are better than this one or that one. He only wanted THE VIOLENCE TO STOP. In his demonstration, he taught us a valuable lesson. When you’re willing to stand up for something you believe in and sacrifice everything for it, you stand to gain the most out of the situation. In this case, it was one of the biggest global Conglomerates ever created, Nike.

Nike was in a position to do just like other companies have done in the past, run away from adversity to keep their names squeaky clean. But they chose to step in and do what was right. They took a good look in the mirror and asked, “What is Colin truly trying to accomplish with kneeling?” They understood that his actions were geared more towards peace and awareness, and not separation and division.

Without hesitation, they backed him up completely. Now you have to ask yourself, why would the biggest shoe, sports apparel company in the world support a man who is “disrespecting America?” A company whose check can be seen across the world. A check that can be seen on the uniforms of the teams whose same owners rejected the notion that this could be something positive? Plainly put, Nike knew the truth behind the madness.

They knew what was really transpiring and that Kaepernick’s actions were geared towards progressing a country, for the most part, that often seems outdated in it’s beliefs and preferences. Nike knew the truth!

As I close, I ask you to see the real message behind the Colin Kaepernick saga. There’s four parts to it.

  1. If you’re willing to stand firm for what you believe in, even against the world, you will come out victorious.
  2. Belief in something so strong will even get the big boys (NIKE) behind you giving you all the support you need.
  4. It’s ok to have an opinion, it’s not ok to allow your opinion to create hatred and division.
  5. Our dreams can be as real as we desire them to be. It’s all a matter of continuing to move forward as they grow and as we grow with them.

To endless peace and Unconditional Love,


Shaun Grant

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