Sunday night I returned from my annual fishing pilgrimage in the great state of Kentucky. I sat down and began to get caught up on everything that happened whilst I was gone. I came upon some news that had me shaking my head. Apparently Colin Kaepernick, a second string quarterback with the San Francisco Forty-Niners, is refusing to stand when the National Anthem is played. His explanation is that he is not “going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color“. Okay, I guess that’s his right in a free society.
But see I am a jaded, old dog. Been around for too many years and have seen too much. I remember watching the 1968 Olympics when John Carlos and Tommy Smith gave their famous “Black Power salute” on the podium in Mexico City. Now I give credit where credit is due. 1968 was four years after the 1964 Civil Rights Act and , to be painfully honest, we still hadn’t gotten it right. In the South there was still blacks being denied voting rights while in the North, especially the city of Chicago, blacks were being herded like cattle into housing projects.
I would have to guess his concept comes from the idea of police shootings of blacks. I guess he doesn’t realize that blacks have more of a chance being killed by other blacks than they do by police. Just ask people in the city of Chicago where the city is on track to host 700 homicides for just this year. But I guess protesting black on black crime isn’t politically correct and doesn’t merit any attention.
As I said I am jaded and believe that people have ulterior motives for what they do. When that part of my brain kicked in, I started doing some looking. By looking at Kaepernick’s career from 2011-2015, I have an alternate reason for his protest.
First off hand, you have to understand the CK was born of a black man and white woman. Instead of aborting him, his biological mother put him up for adoption. The Kaepernick family, yes they are white, happily adopted him and raised him as their own.
Secondly, and I am not going to bore you with a lot of football talk but just to say that, after he was drafted by the 49ers in 2011, that from 2011-2013 his rating sizzled. He was considered a dual threat, able to both throw the ball and run it. But in 2014 and in 2015 his performance starts to drop. In fact, in 2015 he did lose his starting job. In the off-season he had surgeries on his non-throwing shoulder, knee and hand. The playing that he did in the pre-season convinced the 49ers to go with another quarterback instead of him. The problem is that he gets paid 11.9 million dollars a year to sit on the bench.
Now it is no great secret that the 49ers were looking to cut him. With his injuries, if he was picked up by another team, they would not be obliged to pay him what he was getting paid. So how do you solve the situation? Well you get creative. So here’s how: you get political.
Drawing on the fact that half of him is black he decides to start protesting the flag and the National Anthem. While, again, it is his right, he puts the 49ers betwixt a rock and a hard place. If they cut him or trade him he can always say that it wasn’t due to his poor performance but due to his political beliefs. In other words he uses that time honored tradition of playing the race card. If they keep him, then they pay him 11.9 million dollars to sit on the bench all the while drawing negative attention to the team.
Well, it looks like the 49ers have decided to take the easy road and not cut him. CK will spend the season as a highly paid second stringer. Every Sunday he will sit on the bench while the National Anthem is played. The flag and the song that accompanies it are symbols of a nation where an overpaid athlete has a right to act like a fool and a moron.
There are a great deal of people, even Obama, who are praising him for being so brave. I wish I could, but somehow in my gut and in my heart, I truly believe that there is another side to this story, when simply of financial expediency.
Tags: 1968 Olympics Chicago colin kaepernick Mexico City NFL San Francisco Forty-Niners