"Most people don't want to change. They're comfortable and set in their ways. But in order to change, you have to be able to agitate people at times. And I think that's something that's very necessary for us to improve as a country."
- Colin Kaepernick
Over the weekend Colin Kaepernick celebrated his 30th birthday! At 30 years old Kaepernick is a young, talented, has a great arm, and he’s a leader.
Basically, you need to understand that he is not unemployed because he is not capable. Colin Kaepernick is being blackballed by teams and team owners because he decided to demonstrate a peaceful protest and take a knee during the national anthem. I haven’t been watching the NFL this season in efforts to not support a league that doesn’t support a cause that has always been about justice for all, especially for people of color. But like any other season, I’m sure there’s teams in the NFL that absolutely suck and could use a better quarterback. And Kaepernick could be that better quarterback … if he wasn’t being blackballed for stepping out of line.
Even with him not in the league, several NFL players have continued what Kaepernick started and take a knee during the national anthem of each and every game. It shows that the injustices in America that Kaepernick originally took a knee for are still not being rectified. The crimes committed in America are still not being punished equally. Justice is still not being served. And these players are peacefully bringing awareness to it and asking that America keep us her end of the deal with liberty and justice for all.
Despite all of this, Bob McNair, the owner of the Houston Texans, didn't appreciate the peaceful protesting. He likely saw it as bad for business that was actively causing unwanted attention. McNair, again an owner of a NFL team, decided to voice his opinion on the matter and said, "We can't have the inmates running the prison."
And this is after Donald Trump, the current "president" (and I use this term loosely) of America, called these peaceful American protesters "sons of b*tches!”
Donald Sterling (previous owner of the Los Angeles Clippers) made his comments about Blacks and he was blackballed and forced out of their league. So far, the most that has happened and been pushed by the NFL commissioner and other owners is Bob McNair had to be forced to even apologize. But it seems to me that the NFL isn’t as socially advanced as the NBA (National Basketball Association).
Still, the true problem is not just the fact that Bob McNair made those comments. Will all this going on; with Kaepernick being blackballed; with the comments about the “inmates” by a NFL team owner; with the comments by Trump; the true problem here is what Michael Bennett (DE for Seattle Seahawks) pointed out in a prior interview, “We’re check getters, not check writers.”
McNair, a NFL check writer, reportedly wrote another check and donated $1M to Donald Trump’s inaugural committee. So, again, first these NFL players and protesters were “sons of b*tches,” and now they’re “inmates.” This is their mindset and how the people currently in power in America view the men who decided to take a peaceful approach and bring more awareness to the injustice systems in America. Instead of truly working towards remedying these corrupt systems, they’re showing their true colors.
But this is what happens when we're the check getters, not the check writers.
These team owners are the check writers. These other owners and check writers need to understand that either he stays and they're condoning his comments and beliefs, or they ostracize him and push him out because of them. Nonetheless, these check writers are the owners of this "prison" and Kaepernick was causing more trouble than the other inmates. And that mentality right there is exactly why Colin Kaepernick has continued to be blackballed by the NFL. Yet they can continue to do it because they’re the check writers; they’re the owners.
In that prior interview with Michael Bennett, his brother, Martellus Bennett (TE for the Green Bay Packers) said that the NFL really stands for “niggers for lease.” And he couldn’t be any more accurate in his assessment. Players are added, traded, and dropped at the drop of a dime.
But the thing about all of this is these check writers would have no checks to write if the players do not play for their teams and their league. If Black players alone do not play, the league would fall. If Black players alone created a new league, some would argue that new league would compete with the NFL for viewers instantly. Prime example, during the 2016 season, not one white player was a featured runner on any of the league’s 32 teams. But because they’re the check writers, they have the power to bring down whoever they want and can continue to blackball Kaepernick, and whoever else they choose.
This is America, and America only understands one thing: money. And one of, if not the, best way to generate money is through ownership.
So what would happen if we were the owners?
What would happen if we started our own leagues?
What would happen if we collectively focused on building our own?
What would happen if we were the check writers, and not just the check getters?
- D. Haynes The Author
Dennis aka D. Haynes The Author is a 27 year old Black male from Inglewood, CA. Graduating with his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minoring in Business Administration, Dennis grew to understand the psychological damage in our communities and the need for more knowledge to help better ourselves.
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