(Todd A. Smith)

Stop comparing the Harrison Butker situation to the Colin Kaepernick situation from a few years ago.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback took a knee during the national anthem of NFL games to protest police brutality and systemic racism and lost his job.

Supporters of Kaepernick said all he did was exercise his First Amendment rights.

Therefore, why should he lose his job?

Kaepernick’s detractors said that during the anthem and at the work site is no place for political speech.

However, many of Kaepernick’s detractors seem to support Kansas City Chiefs kicker Butker’s commencement speech in which he criticized President Joe Biden, while also making sexist and homophobic comments.

During his commencement address, Butker said, “For the ladies present today, congratulations on an amazing accomplishment. You should be proud of all that you have achieved to this point in your young lives. I want to speak directly to you briefly because I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lie told to you.

“How many of you are sitting here now about to cross this stage and are thinking about all the promotions and titles you are going to get in your career? Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world, but I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world.”

Regardless of one’s religious beliefs, that statement was sexist.

Why can’t women have a career and a family if they choose?

Why shouldn’t men be happier with having a family than having a career?

Many who did not like Butker’s message have pointed to the double standard applied to Butker and Kaepernick when it comes to freedom of speech and expression.

But other than them both being employed as NFL players at the time of their controversies, the Butker and Kaepernick comparison should not be made.

Butker should be compared to basketball savant Kyrie Irving.

The former Brooklyn Nets point guard received a suspension for tweeting about a book that many of our Jewish brothers and sisters find antisemitic.

Although Irving and Butker compete in separate sports and leagues, what they did was similar.

However, both received different responses from their employers.

While I supported Kaepernick a million percent, an argument can be made that once he chose a work site as the place to protest, the people writing his check had the right to stop writing him checks, especially if he was hurting their bottom line.

I even had a former teacher of mine say that Black athletes should protest on their own time.

She is definitely entitled to her own opinion.

But for Black people, there is a still a double standard when we express ourselves and protest on our own time or in the manner that some White people want us to protest.

Irving was met with suspension and vitriol when he posted about an alleged antisemitic book.

Butker was met with vitriol, but no punishment from the Chiefs or the NFL, for making statements that some saw as bigoted towards women and the LGBTQ+ community.

Despite representing different sports leagues, what the two responses show is that it is O.K. to disrespect and offend certain demographic groups, as long as you do not offend one demographic in particular.

No one should stand for any antisemitism at all.

When one group is oppressed, it should offend all groups especially groups that have also historically faced oppression like the African-American community.

But what does it say to people when a person gets a pass for upsetting two demographics, however, a person that offends Jewish Americans is faced with immediate reprimand?

That shows that one group is valued over others.

That shows that oppression and bigotry is O.K. as long as it does not offend one particular group.

Ultimately, that shows that discrimination is alive and well in this country because certain groups are still treated better than others.

What does it say when a White male can speak his mind and conservative media personalities applaud his courage and his “Christian faith?”

I put Christian faith in quotation marks because many conservative media personalities and politicians parade their alleged Christianity in the media.

However, their actions are more devilish than Christ-like.

But, when an African-American athlete like LeBron James speaks out against racism and talks politics, conservative media pundits like Laura Ingraham tell him to shut and dribble.

It shows that America is O.K. with an outspoken White person.

However, a Black person better keep their mouths closed or America will try to stop them from having the ability to put food in their mouth.

To my recollection, no one on Fox News told Butker to just shut up and kick.

But that’s the America that we have always lived in.

One set of rules for the people in the majority.

And another set of rules for the people in the minority.

Personally, I have nothing against Butker because he has a right to speak his mind.

I totally disagree with his comments about women and that is my right as an American.

People have a right to purchase Butker jerseys in droves, just like people had a right to purchase Kaepernick jerseys in droves during his controversy, which many did.

The problem everyone should have is the double standard.

White athletes can entertain Americans and express themselves as free Americans.

However, too many think that African-Americans are just here to entertain the White masses and then shut up when important decisions are being made that affect their lives just like they affect the lives of their White counterparts.

Todd A. Smith
Follow Todd
Latest posts by Todd A. Smith (see all)