Colin Kaepernick has essentially been blackballed since he knelt during the National Anthem last year in silent protest against police brutality. NFL fans across the nation threw an absolute fit, inundating the organization with letters complaining about Colin’s actions.
I cannot really wrap my head around this, although I’m well aware of how racism, police brutality, and the Black Lives Matter movement are all completely mishandled by organizations like the NFL. Hell, those topics are mishandled by the current so-called Presidential administration, so I shouldn’t be bent out of shape over this, right? It’s just another day in the USA.
Well, guess what? I’m pretty bent out of shape about it.
Colin Kaepernick did not kneel during the National Anthem because he didn’t FEEL like standing up. He did not kneel during the National Anthem because he does not LOVE the country that he lives in. He did not kneel during the National Anthem to DISRESPECT the United States.
He knelt during the Anthem because police brutality is becoming so common that, although my heart breaks every time another black person’s name is added to the list, I am not surprised anymore. Nor am I surprised when the police officers responsible do not face any jail time for killing an innocent human being in cold blood–often, while caught on video.
He knelt in a plea for people to open their eyes and SEE that black men, women, and children are mourning loved ones and strangers who should still be here. He knelt to acknowledge the fact there is a devastating, terrifying problem when it comes to law enforcement interacting with people of color.
Meanwhile, as Colin Kaepernick is being shunned by teams during his free agency, the NFL continues to be completely accepting of players who have been accused of and arrested for domestic violence. In some cases, there is indisputable evidence of these men abusing their significant others. And yet they’re welcomed with open arms, unless the media and the public complain too loudly. Then, of course, the franchise’s finances are threatened and they have no choice but to let the player go.
Where were the letters of outrage for those players? Why weren’t they immediately blackballed for abusing another human being?
Carron J. Phillips of the NY Daily News summed this shameful situation up quite nicely:
A black man, who plays a game that is predominately made up of black players, decided to silently protest an anthem that belittled his ancestors in a protest against police brutality, in stadiums that are filled with fans that still, to this day, don’t care about black lives, unless they’re running, jumping or scoring touchdowns. Fan letters didn’t overwhelm [NY Giants CEO John Mara] when Josh Brown was hitting his wife, but they sure did when a black man knelt in protest against police brutality.
There is so much truth in that quote, and it is chilling.
Some may be offended by my saying this, but it needs to be said: You’re expressing outrage over the wrong things. This isn’t a matter of opinion–not when lives are at stake and the primary causes of that are being staunchly ignored. There should be serious repercussions for perpetrators of domestic violence and for police officers who fire their weapons without a reason for doing so.
If the protest needs to be on a football field for you to pay attention, then so be it. Because that rage that you’re feeling over your perceived disrespect of the American flag? Amplify that one-hundred fold and that’s just a fraction of how some of us feel on a daily basis when we see yet another video of an innocent life being taken.
The Siren stands up for the rights of all humans. She is not afraid to have her voice heard. The Siren is all of us. Heed the call.