Colin Kaepernick. Remember him. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who was blackballed out of the NFL for supposedly disrespecting the national anthem? Four years later, thanks to the death of George Floyd at the hand of four white police officers has been proven right.
Even if he was not right, he has the right to protest as defined in the First Amendment and he should have been playing. We all know however, that he was railroaded by NFL execs because they did not want the controversy that comes with having a socially conscious individual on their team that made white supremacists around the United States of America uncomfortable.
Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to two straight NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl, might have a Super Bowl ring if there would have been a pass interference call during the 4th quarter. There is no denying Kaepernick’s talent even though his detractors make this bogus claim.
Kaepernick started protesting the rising number of Black Americans by out-of-control police during the 2016 NFL season. These protests started by him sitting on the bench during the national anthem. This sparked outrage, so after his discussion with former Green Beret, Nate Boyer, Kapernick decided to kneel instead. He made it be known that his beef was not with the military, which the white supremacists made this an issue about, but against police killing Blacks indiscriminately. This did not sit well with Donald Trump who infamously said, “get that son of a bitch” off the field and bragged how NFL owners did not want Trump to Tweet against him.
Truth be told, Trump does not care about this issue, for him it was just an opportunity to continue his culture war of giving his white supremacist base another target in which to hate. Trump is very adept at this. After he got through demonizing Latinos, saying that all Mexicans were rapists, and Muslims by saying that all Muslims were terrorist, he needed another target.
Trump’s modus operandi has always been to find an ethnic or religious minority to target to focus his rage, then whip up his base into a frenzy to attack his target. He only caters to these individuals because he knows they will never leave him. Most of the are white and evangelical and as long as his promise of Make America Great Again, which equates to Make America White Again, and to punish people that have abortions, then they will allow him to do anything.
Never mind the fact that some reports claim that he might have paid for as many as seven abortions. They do not care. They say that is in the past and that he is God’s representative on Earth to spread their version of Christianity regardless of how uncouth Trump is. They know that Trump is the exact opposite of what Jesus taught, but they do not care.
Minneapolis, Minnesota just witnessed the murder of an unarmed black man. The brutal murder of George Floyd was caught on video. Now fired and arrested former Minneapolis police officer Derik Chauvin can be seen with his knee on Floyd’s neck in a compromising. In this video, he begged for his life. He told the police officer that he was dying, and in his last agonizing brief seconds he called for his mother. He laid without a pulse for almost three minutes. Three other officers watched as he died, even though bystanders pleaded with the police to stop and told them that he was dying.
This has caused protests to sweep the USA. Every major city and many medium sized cities have had protests daily. Unfortunately, there have been outsiders that have worked to hijack the protests to try to change the narrative. This will not work except maybe with Fox News and their rabid base of white supremacists. Kaepernick tried to warn the citizens and politicians that this was going to happen, but the people in power did not listen. However, this has all changed, and we are perhaps one video away from total bedlam.
Hopefully, things are changing for the better, however. We are now seeing police from around the country speaking out against the murder for George Floyd. They are joining protesters and taking a knee in honor of Kaepernick’s struggle against police brutality. They realize that things need to change and that the American people have had enough of police brutality.
Also, the protests have a mixture of Americans from every demographic, age, ethnicity, and class. You see Americans united in the message that violence against Black Americans need to stop. The message has expanded that Donald Trump needs to go as well. A new movement has started, a type of movement not seen in my lifetime. It is like the protests that gave rise to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s.
This brings us to Kaepernick. It is encouraging to see many people, and police even, taking a knee with protestors in honor of Kaepernick’s message. There have been too many sports writers, athletes, and public figured to name that have come out to apologize to Kaepernick and acknowledge that he was correct in his assessment that if things do not change that there would be widespread chaos. We are seeing this now. The peoples’ voices are finally being heard.
Kaepernick is only 32 years old and in top shape. The Vikings seem ready to move on from Kirk Cousins, or in the very least get him some competition. The Vikings should sign Kapernick, not only for the positive public relations message that it would send, but also Kaepernick is simply better than Cousins. Cousins has not been able to prove that he can win at the highest level, whereas Kaepernick is a proven winner. Kaepernick is a dual threat quarterback that is dangerous with either his bullet passes or with his running ability.
Even though Kaepernick is not playing, his jersey sells out in one day, showing he has a fan base. He is an international hero for his stance for equality and against racism. Even in countries where the NFL is not popular, he has acquired a fan base.
In the future, people are going to look back at Kaepernick as a true American hero and social icon. He is bigger than football but he can make football bigger with his reemergence in the NFL.