Colin Kaepernick is Right, But So is the NFL

September 27th, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe. - Frederick Douglass

As you know that most issues are not black or white (no pun intended), but rather gray, I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring and share The Viable Alternative opinion to the venom and praise being thrown at both the NFL and Colin Kaepernick depending on which side is taken.

First off, whether or not a person agrees with Colin Kaepernick’s views, I believe Kaepernick was well justified for what he did in taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem before the football game. As an American citizen, he’s protected under the First Amendment for freedom of speech and expression, and kneeling was a way he chose to express himself.

People from around the country said the man was being unpatriotic and disrespectful to the American flag but I totally disagree. Calling out your country because you feel that she’s not living up to her highest ideals is not unpatriotic nor disrespectful, neither is taking a knee for a country which expects loyalty from you but you feel in your heart of hearts doesn’t reciprocate.

In fact, just as in any type of relationship, holding the other person to a higher standard of behaviour that he or she professes to stand for is the utmost sign of respect for that person and the sign of a true friend. It’s no different in the case of America. When you call the country out for injustices that you feel she commits or allows to occur, it shows your patriotism and respect.

It took some major intestinal fortitude for Kaepernick to take a stand for something he felt was wrong, and he should be applauded for doing what America prides itself for, “Standing for liberty and justice for all.”

However, now this man can’t get a “job” in the NFL for his bravery and people are up in arms, saying that the NFL is racist and that it’s insensitive to African Americans being treated as second class citizens.

Now, this may very well be true, but I believe there’s a bigger issue at play.

The NFL and its teams are privately owned companies and Kaepernick is (or was) an employee. Any company has the right to fire or refuse to hire anyone who it feels will be a disruption to their environment. Kaepernick, believe in him or not, has been considered such by these owners and so, they have the right to make the decision they did, agree with them or not.

I don’t watch football regularly, but from others who I know as diehard sports fans, they say that Kaepernick was at best a mediocre player. He was good enough to get into the NFL, but not good enough to be considered among the top talent. His presence on any team would attract a media circus that the owners don’t think he’s worth the risk to take. Had he been considered a better player like Cam Newton, the owners would’ve looked the other way because a man like him brings in more money.

Cry foul, say the owners are messed up, racist or whatever, at the end of the day, these people are running corporations that are supposed to turn a profit, and they have the right to make a decision geared towards that end. It’s their company.

This brings me to my often repeated mantra of “build your own.” If Black people, including the athletes, don’t like how these corporations treat them, why don’t they pool their money together and buy one or more of the teams or even build their own league instead of complaining how they’re treated in someone else’s house? There are many athletes and entertainers out there with deep pockets that can make this happen. Ice Cube did a version of this with the 3 on 3 Basketball League he founded.

With a step like this, African Americans can become a major player in sports and call their own shots, rather than be at the whims of what they deem a racist organization where even though they may be high paid employees they can be fired at any time and lose their source of income. Such an organization can be all inclusive in the sense they hire people of all colours and ethnicities like White organizations do, except that it’d be Black owned.

Black people owning there own? What a thought. Don’t mind me I’m being silly again.

This is The Viable Alternative.

Hope this helps,

Ike Love

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