A few months ago I wrote an article asking “Are there Any Black activist/athletes left?” It was inspired by the death of Muhammad Ali; a man who once put it all on the line to stand up for what he believed in during the Vietnam War. Well it seems that the answer to my question came quicker than expected. Colin Kaepernick has lit a fire in America unseen in decades. He has done it respectfully, intelligently but with the determination of a lion on the hunt. I’ve seen athletes wear Black Lives Matter t-shirts, quietly bail protesters out of jail and make a few politically correct statements at the ESPY’s, but nothing even comes close to the “Colin Cleanse” that the NFL is receiving at the time of this writing.
The purpose of the colon is to aid in the release of fecal matter. The NFL has been full of BS from its inception when it comes to racism, capitalism and the mistreatment of its “hired hands.” It is very much a political organization with non-profit status. We are inundated with the success stories of Black football stars, but we never hear about the thousands of brothers who are thrown to the wood pile after an injury or a dropped kickoff return. The NFL is an organization with a proud slave/slave master culture. What Kaepernick is doing is much bigger than sitting out the national anthem. He is removing fear from NFL players and athletes nationwide. It’s proof that just as one domino can cause the fall of many; one determined voice can cause the rise of many. Kaep is not just standing up for justice. He’s giving Black players their dignity back. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.
Much has been said about the high percentage of Black athletes who end up broke financially. But what about the high percentage who end up broken morally and mentally. It’s a hell of a thing when you can drive around town in a Bentley, yet aren’t “permitted” to speak your mind when it comes to serious issues that affect your community. No amount of money is worth your manhood. Colin K. decided that “enough is enough” and now the domino effect is sweeping the league.
The Nation Football League is in a dilemma as to what it will do. They aren’t used to employing players who think for themselves. Kaepernick’s actions have angered millions, yet his jersey has become the #1 seller. What some thought might hurt the league’s bottom line might actually be helping it. At what cost, though? Pharoah’s greatest fear was that a leader would arise among the slaves to unite them and reveal to them their power. The same principle applies. NFL executives are sitting somewhere in a smoke-filled room grappling over the million dollar question of what to do with Colin Kaepernick.
If history has taught us nothing else about White men, it has taught us that they play the “long game.” Their superiority complex makes it very difficult for them to accept the loss of power. As these players regain dignity and self confidence (off the field) they will begin to make other demands unrelated to the Kaepernick protest. Younger rookie players will come into the league with an activist mentality. Let’s see what the “owners” do to try and restore order on the plantation. TRUST ME!!! It’s coming.
While we salute Colin K. for his stand our support has to be long term. The question now becomes “what will it take for him to stand for the flag again?” If “freedom and justice for all” in America is the criterion he will never stand for the national anthem again. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it is what it is.
All Black athletes must find a way to support Colin K. and SHOULD BE PRESSURED to do so. The more this movement becomes a chorus the less dangerous it will be for the brother who started it “one deep.” I respect got Colin K. is in the same category as that of Muhammad Ali. I never thought I’d say that in 2016. But just as they found a way to silence Ali they will try and find ways to silence the light-skinned QB with the big ‘fro and the even bigger heart. My prayer is that my brothers in pads and cleats can regain lost dignity through this process. This “Colin Cleanse” could be a game changer for if they stick together.