Just Do It?
While this issue used to get my blood boiling, I did want to write what is hopefully a sensible and thought provoking, and relatively short blog about Colin Kaepernick.
I admire Kap for sticking to his guns, and for doing what he's done to take care of people he says he cares about. Much of our world is all talk and fake news. It's so nice to see someone do what they say they're going to do. While I like Kap and appreciate him as a human being, don't be misled...this whole issue of the national anthem was never about our country, or veterans. It was about bringing attention to a failed system that has continually and intentionally harmed people of color, their neighborhoods, our criminal justice system and permeated every cultural corner of our society. I am grateful for that spotlight. It is needed and necessary. Regardless of what you think about standing or sitting or kneeling during the anthem, people are talking about something they weren't talking about as much before. We should be happy about that.
Having said that, I should also say: Colin Kaepernick was the wrong leader for this movement. He was apathetic, uncaring and deeply hypocritical. He didn't vote, didn't want to vote, and thought Fidel Castro was a good leader. Because people believe he is the leader of the movement, they believe he has been rejected by the NFL because of kneeling for the national anthem. This couldn't be further from the truth. He's been offered to play, but he wants to start, and he wants big money to start. He's not good enough for that. He has become a martyr, and he doesn't deserve to be one, in my opinion. I am proud of him stepping up, and I'm glad he did, but I wish he'd have sat back down.
The real heroes are those who have to deal with massive oppression on the daily; whose lives are constantly interrupted by things that to us are easy, but to them are insanely difficult. The real heroes are those who are wrongly imprisoned, or imprisoned far too long and who handle it with grace. The real heroes are the children, who against all odds in the inner city, truly do sacrifice everything to work two jobs after spending all day trying to stay awake from not eating, and somehow getting A's and providing for their family. The real heroes are grandmas in the inner city who have 25 grandkids on their block they cook for, let lean on them and buy school supplies with money they don't have for.
Kap didn't sacrifice anything but an NFL career. He still has money. Still has a stage. Still has a life. He's won more than he's lost. And yet, his voice is supposed to be representative of the real heroes?
The real heroes have sacrificed everything and then some. They have lost more than they've won. They have no money. No stage. Their voices are blocked out by the cacophony of attention given to others who aren't heroes.
I hope Nike rethinks their slogan and gives weight to those who, without them, so many of us wouldn't be here without.