Everyone is up in arms over San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand during the playing of the national anthem before games.
I understand the feeling.
Here’s an extremely wealthy and spoiled black athlete, raised by wonderful adoptive white parents, adored by fans of all races across the country, living in a nation presided over by a black president protesting what a rotten, unjust, racially stratified nation the United States of America is.
Am I upset?
Yes, but I’m not surprised.
Colin Kaepernick thinks he’s being bold. He thinks he’s being courageous. He thinks he’s being a serious person.
Of course, he’s not doing any of those things.
He’s being an idiot.
But he might also be doing something that is consciously or unconsciously self-serving — making it tougher for the 49ers to cut him, which is a very real possibility.
He’s not getting the job done. I wonder if he has calculated that it might be harder for the 49ers to let him go following the political controversy he stirred.
Nevertheless, I’m not nearly as angry with Colin Kaepernick as I am with the cartel known as the NFL for its role in racial polarization in America.
Maybe you missed it, but just three weeks ago, the Dallas Cowboys asked the NFL for permission to place a sticker on their players’ helmets this season in support of the city’s fallen police officers, gunned down by a sniper this summer.
The NFL said no.
Do you get the picture?
NFL players can run out on the field, as the L.A. Rams did last year in St. Louis, with their hands up helping to spread the lie that Michael Brown was an innocent victim of police brutality in Ferguson. No consequences.
NFL players can scrawl on their uniforms in black marker the words “I can’t breathe,” mimicking what Eric Garner, a black man who died in police hands in New York City supposedly said, as Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush did in 2014. No consequences.
But God forbid the Dallas Cowboys should want to honor their fallen police officers assassinated in the fury that followed these acts of disinformation and incitement.
I am much more angry at the NFL than I am at Colin Kaepernick.
There wasn’t nearly the national fury at the NFL’s gutless and cowardly and insensitive decision as there was about Kaepernick. Which decision do you suppose was more well-considered?
Just to be clear, the Cowboys weren’t asking that all NFL players wear the decal on their helmets. They were simply asking that the Cowboys be permitted to do so. The answer was no.
Needless to say, the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation was stunned by the decision.
“The NFL had an opportunity to be leaders and advocates for change in law enforcement,” Sgt. Demetrick Pennie, president of the foundation, said. “These are our friends and our loved ones. … It hurts to not have the NFL fully support us.”
Why is it that freedom of speech seems to be a one-way street in the NFL? People who buy into Black Lives Matter’s hate and lies can say and do whatever they want, but those who stand up to honor the lives of police officers gunned down in cold blood do not?
Maybe it was a mistake for the Cowboys to ask the NFL for approval of the decal. If they had not and, instead, just placed the images on their helmets, maybe it would fall under the free-speech rules the NFL reserves for the lying malcontent players within its authority.