Augustus F. Hawkins High School

Divide we sit: Colin Kaepernick’s protest

This issue of NFL players following Kaepernick’s protest is important to me because the NFL is one of my favorite sport franchises. I remember seeing Colin Kaepernick being on top of the world and playing in the biggest game of the year, Super Bowl XLVII in 2013. After being in that game in New Orleans, his career began to decline and four years later the San Francisco 49ers eventually refused to sign a new contract with him. So Kaepernick opted out.

According to SBNation.com timeline,  in August 2016, Kaepernick sat unnoticed in solidarity with groups like Black Lives Matter, who were bringing awareness to how some police officers were mistreating African Americans and minorities in the United States.  After he took a knee in full uniform, suddenly he was noticed.

Kaepernick courageously stated “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” After he said that a few players joined the protest, not enough to even count.

What incited the increase of  other NFL players and athletes across different sports participating in peaceful demonstrations when the anthem was performed were the tweeted words on Sept. 24 by President Trump. The protest then seemed to turn to freedom of expression.

Since his initial protest in 2016, it seems that NFL owners won´t even consider hiring Kaepernick to play for their teams. Now there are questions about the NFL losing money and TV ratings because some fans are refunding their season tickets and not watching NFL football anymore because of the controversy.

Since all this is happening and no team is hiring the former 49ers quarterback, he decided to sue the NFL for “collusion” because they are not letting him play. He believes it is because he stood up for an issue affecting many citizens around the United States. Like this lawsuit, Kaepernick is going to make an impact on all 32 team owners because the NFL teams are signing 39 other backup quarterbacks and leaving Kaepernick unsigned knowing he has a 90.7 passing rate during a bad 49ers team last season.  

Contributions by Jonathan Campos

1 Comment

  • Reply Douglas Campbell November 9, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Kaepernick is anything but courageous. He sits because men died under the Flag he disses so that he could have the right to sit. If he were a citizen of North Korea in North Korea, what he is doing would be courageous, but here, it disrespects those men who died.

    Kaepernick is like most who kneel or sit — they have the best rooms, the best cars, the best homes, the best food, and have fully grasped all that this country has to offer to those who work hard — but they do not understand that this country rewards ability and exertion of that ability but does not reward laxity nor inability.

    If Kaepernick was protesting racism, then he was protesting the racism occurring under a black President, and within an occupation in which his fellow racial peers are very well rewarded for their effort. If Kaepernick was protesting how we treat our poor, he was a very poor protester for that, for he does not donate more than the smallest fraction of his wealth to the poor. I do not count myself as the best of givers, but as a fraction of my wealth, I give far more than Kaepernick does; and if I am not the best of givers, and Kaepernick is below me, that says a lot.

    Kaepernick wore socks depicting police as pigs, an act which disrespects a profession dedicated to protecting and serving. Any beat policeman is far more courageous than Kaepernick.

    Note that teams kneel in unision; there is something fascist in that statement — in fact, Alejandro Villanueva was far more courageous than Kaepernick because he bucked his entire team and stood for the Anthem. Of course, he viewed his “team” as the United States of America, and not merely his fellow players, as he was a graduate of West Point, an ex-Army Ranger, and had been awarded a Bronze Star with “V” for valor. For those actions, apparently — for “dissing the team” — he was castigated and ostracized. His statement in the aftermath shows the fascism of the team: “I made my teammates look bad, and that is my fault, and my fault only,” Villanueva said. “We butchered our plan.”

    I say, no, Mr. Villanueva, your team made themselves look bad. You merely showed that by your good example.

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