The Real Problem is Loss of Power
In 2018, many people do not have a major problem with Colin Kaepernick’s silent protest during the national anthem (like they say they do) two years ago because many people do not hold grudges that long.
However, the problem people have with Kaepernick in 2018 stems from the fact that even though the NFL blacklisted him from the league and prevented him from making millions of dollars in the future, they have not broken his spirit or his bank account as his new contract extension with Nike proves.
The fact of the matter remains that some people’s real problem with Kaepernick, and other Black athletes that speak their minds and do not capitulate to the status quo, is that there are too many people of color and people of the same value system as Kaepernick that will make sure he never wants for money again.
That reality represents a loss of power for many in the dominant culture at a time when many are trying like hell to hold on to a false sense of superiority and dominance that their parents and grandparents told them was their birthright.
After Nike made Kaepernick the face of the company’s new advertising campaign, people claiming patriotism vowed to boycott with some even burning their sneakers and socks and posting the videos on social media.
Those people could have done more for their country and their soldiers by donating those items to homeless veterans across the country that cannot even get adequate healthcare from the government when they return home from the battlefield.
If this country really cared about its soldiers then it would fix the problems at the VA and stop violating flag code at sporting events across the country.
But the vitriol over Kaepernick was never about the flag, the soldiers or patriotism.
People hate Kaepernick and many Black athletes of this generation because the athletes know their worth and will not allow some White people to dictate how they live their lives.
In essence, the 21st century African-American refuses to stay in their place.
Better yet, this generation of African-Americans knows that their place is wherever God takes them, not where some White people allow him or her to go.
Athletes like LeBron James, Chris Paul and other outspoken greats are not grateful for the opportunity that White owners have given them.
On the contrary, they know that their individual greatness is why their teams are so great and why their teams continue to turn a great profit for the owners and the cities in which they play.
Back in the day, if a Black athlete like Curt Flood or Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf or entertainers like Lena Horne or Earth Kitt got blacklisted, there were not very many African-Americans wealthy or powerful enough to help them out, essentially ending their careers.
Now, there are too many Black millionaires, billionaires and CEOs to let that happen.
Additionally, there are too many White, Hispanic and Asian-Americans that understand the plight of African-Americans for a true blackballing of Kaepernick to have very much impact on his bank account.
The NFL did not want Kaepernick anymore, but the book publishing industry did giving him seven figures for an upcoming memoir.
The NFL did not want Kaepernick anymore, but filmmaker Ava DuVernay wanted the story of his childhood for an upcoming sitcom.
The NFL did not want Kaepernick anymore, but one of the league’s biggest sponsors saw the value he had with the younger generation that buys more of its products than the old heads complaining.
The NFL did not want Kaepernick anymore, but best believe when Kaepernick is truly ready to speak out he will secure his bag on the college lecture circuit like the great Muhammad Ali did during his exile from boxing in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Just like fake patriots could not stop Ali from becoming the greatest, they cannot stop Kaepernick from being this generation’s Ali.
If God is for you, who can be against you?
Kaepernick is a child of God, and God will not allow His children to live life begging for bread.
And like it or not, patriotism is not in the Bible and not a prerequisite for God to bless someone like some Americans would like to believe.
God does not care what country a person is from or if that person meets people’s definition of patriotism.
He is more concerned with people following Him, not a particular political ideology.
America has to realize that the day of the docile Negro is over.
Nobody will shut up and dribble.
Nobody is going to stay in “his or her place.”
Nobody is going to stick to sports or entertainment.
Blacklisting Kaepernick did not stop other players from protesting systemic racism and police brutality during the national anthem.
Some probably thought that outspoken athletes would stay in their place out of fear that they would get blackballed too if they did not stay in line.
President Donald Trump demanding owners fire those SOB’s will not stop any Black player from protesting or even taking the commander-in-chief seriously.
And if people who do not like the players using their platform to speak out about social and political issues, they can terminate their employment if they are cutting the checks and that is definitely within their rights.
If people do not like to see kneeling during the national anthem, that is very understandable, and they can turn away and even boycott the NFL in perpetuity.
But do not think for one minute that everyone thinks the same way as you.
And do not think that all of the power players in the world look like you or think like you.
There are many power players that look like me and think like Kaepernick and refuse to see the brother lose.
And that’s why many people hate Kaepernick so much.
Tim Tebow kneeled during the national anthem in support of the pro-life movement and people still love Tebow and he has avoided being blackballed.
But Kaepernick, former President Barack Obama and Black billionaire CEOs represent a change to the power structure in America.
The ivory tower now has a new ebony tower as its neighbor, and the ivory tower enjoyed it when the neighborhood just belonged to it.
That is why President Obama faced so much hatred, which led many to vote for Trump in 2016.
But there is no going back to the old ways.
2018 represents a new day in America.