As the clock winds down to the official start of the 2017-2018 NFL Season, I can’t help but think one thing. Would I be super whack if I supported the NFL this year? It’s honestly got my spirit torn. As I continuously look at the bigger picture things don’t sit well with me and I’m not sure how and why I should support the NFL. Not just this season, but moving forward.
We all know the story from a sports analyst perspective. We understand that Colin Kaepernick may not be a Top 10 QB in today’s league, but he’s also not bottom 5 either. I want to remove all of that and talk about the issue that I see. That issue is this. We are publicly watching a person being denied employment because of their beliefs. This isn’t a Ray Rice or Pac-man Jones situation. This isn’t even a Josh Gordon situation that is hindering a person from employment. Those cases and many others I completely understand. What I don’t understand is how we can watch a person being discriminated against and be in undying support of the conglomerate that has made it ok to discriminate that person.
Sure. It is the right of an owner to not want to hire any athlete for virtually any reason. However, you can’t convince me that being a humanitarian and wanting senseless unwarranted acts of violence against a certain demographic or race of people is a good reason to not hire that athlete. On paper off the field, Colin Kaepernick is a PR dream! You literally can not buy the type of positive press that he is getting right now. Which the NFL always needs and leans on.
I can’t help but look at this entire situation and say, “Deep down. The majority of the NFL is just a bunch of “Mindless, Faceless, Black Numbers” to these owners and they know as long as they can find a bigger, faster stronger one that wants to earn a dollar on turf. They will have no problem replacing any of them.”
It’s sad, but true. A person like Jermichael Finley who amongst his competition would be deemed marginal, denounces the idea that a professional athlete should even speak on a matter that is not football related. I’d love to see how he’s treated outside of the NFL if he ever needs a job. The first question I would ask him is “Do you even know anything about this? After all, you are a former pro athlete.” Mr. Finley and too many others spew this ignorant doctrine of the “Dumb Black Athlete” and that stigma along with Kap’s treatment has put fear in the hearts and minds of other young athletes of color. We’ve had a literal felon and a man who changed his life after his somewhat sketchy innocence in a double murder that happened outside of a nightclub speak out against Kaepernick and “what he needs to do to get back in the league”. That is insane to me. And not solely because they are also black.
Fans want to leave it at “Well, he’s just not that good.” or “You don’t watch the NFL for Kaepernick. You watch your team.” My thing is, if that were true, tell me you would do the exact same if Marshawn Lynch, Russell Wilson, Antonio Brown or Richard Sherman shared the same fate as Kaepernick. Tell me you wouldn’t think it’s a crime or an injustice if JJ Watt, Matt Ryan or Aaron Rodgers were going through this. No matter how they push the X’s and O’s to me this is the type of discrimination that caused Affirmative Action to exist. And if you do your Google’s you’ll find that Affirmative Action historically has never helped the Black American more than the White American. Whether woman or not the stats don’t lie.
I’m not telling you boycott the NFL. I’m not telling you watch every game. I’m just saying see the situation for what it is and listen to your spirit.
If you applied for a job at Chili’s today. Get called in for an interview tomorrow. And the hiring manager tells you how he’s in desperate need of a person to fill a void and take on hours and needs that person to start immediately. You impress him and he likes you instantly in this interview. You begin to talk money, schedule and how days off work. You even talk about the next step upon your performance. You leave with a great feeling and ready to start a new job.
You get a request from your future employer on your favorite Social Media platform. And your future employer sees that you take pride in your race and culture in a peaceful, nonviolent way on social media. He also sees that you want police brutality to stop and you are active in peaceful protests in your community.
Out of the blue. The hiring manager calls you later in the day and says, “We are on a hiring freeze now.” It makes no sense based on the conversation earlier. The entire vibe and conversation has 180’ed. He doesn’t even acknowledge how crazy the scenario flip is and rushes you off the phone and doesn’t even wish you well in the future. How would you feel? What questions would you ask? What would you assume? Would you go have drinks or on a date to Chili’s again?
I know. Many of you are saying “well I never add work people to my social media anyway, so that would never happen.” Are you sure about that? You don’t think employers will Google you? You think you are exempt from “that kind of behavior or judgement” just because you don’t confirm a request or because your page is private?
Believe what you want. But ask yourself real questions. Apply Colin Kaepernick’s situation to where you work. Then ask yourself “Is it ok?” That’s all I ask.