Ya’ll Better Support Kaep
“By any means necessary”- Malcolm X
Football fans are chomping at the bit for football. To be honest, I feel as if I’ve heard my friends and colleagues talk more about pre-season football now than ever before. Mostly because people might want to focus on just football. The past few years has been filled with social issues and causes from domestic violence, the coming out of a gay player, the concussion movie, etc. But I must admit, only in millennial fashion, I am slightly happy that the sports of my generation are dealing with social issues like never before. We have our Muhammad Ali’s, Jackie Robinson’s, and the NFL has probably produced the second most vocal, if not the most, vocal athlete about race and injustice with Jim Brown. He has dared football players and athletes in other sports to stand for what’s right. So it’s only fitting that the pre-season start off with a BANG.
I’m referring to, this past Saturday (8/27) 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to stay seated for the National Anthem and then later said this about why he protested the anthem:
“I have to stand up for people who are oppressed. If they take football away, my endorsements from me. I know that I stood up for what is right”
Now, you know that social media, the peanut gallery (a.k.a. idiots who comment on Facebook statuses when they shouldn’t), and the twittersvere among other things was in full effect immediately. I decided to do a little perusing to see what interesting comments I could find. And there was some good ones.
But one that stood out to me, was from the CEO, of the start-up I work for, who is a former division 1 athlete. It’s no surprise, he would post and comment something about an issue that he knows so intimately. But I couldn’t help but scroll through his peanut gallery where someone had the audacity to say the anthem flag represents so much more, such as our men and women soldiers who fight for our flag….
I almost went bananas.
People. (Especially, black people)
Do not apologize or rationalize Kaep’s actions.
He is a black man.
With a platform that he can use for greater good.
We are ALWAYS dissing athletes and celebrities for not standing for a cause. (i.e. Michael Jordan’s commentary and donation was a little too late, I will save that for another discussion)
Here’s my thing:
There are hundreds of thousands of black people in the armed forces who also feel the same injustices at times from being black or a person of color even in the military.
I promise you there are soldiers who make the ultimate sacrifice to fight for our country that would agree with what Kaepernick did. (Trust me. I asked a few before penning this piece.)
When a person of color has a platform and they choose to use it, the most important part thing we must realize is that the average citizen in the majority would not understand. Why would they?
They do not have to use public transportation and feel the burden of their race.
They do not have to feel the burden of “being” the representative of their race at their job or in class when they are the only person in the room that look like them. And that the decisions they do or don’t make have a direct effect on how people view their race as a collective.
Sometimes, we have to help them understand.
As black people, we often have to wear the burden of saying something a little uncomfortable in order for the majority to understand our position. No matter how tiring or frustrating this may be, it is a responsibility that we must take with sincere conviction.
So I urge you that when you go back to work this week or whenever, and you’re at the water cooler, and this deed by Colin Kaepernick is brought up….
Please do him justice, and explain why it mattered.
Why his actions are not disrespectful to America, the American flag or the American people.
Injustice, discrimination, and inequality those are the real actions that are disrespectful to America, the American flag or the American people.
Don’t get it twisted.
This short rant was brought to you by Jackie-Monroe at www.missingperspective.com
Originally published at Alibi X | Xcon Artists.