The truth behind Kaepernick's protest


A little over a year ago, a movement began. 


Colin Kaepernick, former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, did not stand for the national anthem. 


After some time and thinking, and discussion with military veterans, Kaepernick's protest changed to him taking a knee.


After the season ended, Kaepernick, who has been voted to multiple Pro Bowls and once led his team to the Super Bowl, couldn't find a job. A month into the new regular season, he is still unemployed. 


So, two questions arise: Why did Kaepernick choose to protest? And, why is he unemployed?


The latter seems pretty easy to answer. 


While Kaepernick’s performance the past couple of seasons hasn't been great, his performance has certainly been acceptable, especially considering the circumstances he's been playing under.


Last year, Kaepernick played injured, with new coaches and a bad team. Yet, his numbers weren't bad at all. 


In the 2016 season, he threw for 2,400 yards with a 60 percent completion percentage, while throwing for 16 touchdowns to just four interceptions, plus 450 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. And as a diehard football fan, I can't name a single receiver he was throwing to. 


The main point here is that he is better than many quarterbacks who have been signed. Over the past few months, teams have picked up quarterbacks who haven't played in years or were even in retirement, instead of signing Kaepernick. 


Mike Glennon, who doesn't even have one-fourth of the accomplishments Kaepernick has, got paid $45 million this offseason. 


This issue clearly isn't about skill. 


Now, is it right for the owners to shut a player out because of his political views while allowing players who commit domestic violence and child abuse to play? That's an entirely different discussion. For now, we'll focus on why Kaepernick took a knee in the first place.


While some Americans have taken it upon themselves to figure out why he's taking a knee, Kaepernick has explained a number of times why he's doing what he does. 


Police brutality and racial injustice. 


End quote. 


How hard can that be to understand? 


If you look at all the black people who were gunned down innocently at the hands of police officers and saw how and why those police officers got off, you should understand exactly why Kaepernick and millions of other people are upset. 


If you think that Philando Castile, who was unarmed and killed by a police officer in Minnesota with his child in the backseat, deserved that fate, then maybe you should think a little harder about what you believe in. 


If you believe that 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was killed instantly by a police officer after a call of the child having a toy gun, deserved his fate, then maybe you should think a little harder about what you believe in. 


And most importantly, if you think that responding to these points with, "What about black-on-black crime?" is a valid argument, then maybe you should think a little harder about what you believe in. 


The issue here, however, isn't that those incidents aren't worthy of protest. Not for anyone with objective common sense. It's Americans’ insistence that those aren't the center points of his protest. 


To clarify for anyone who still doesn't get it, the protest is not about the flag, the anthem and certainly not the troops, and no person has the right to tell another man what the intent of his protest is or that he doesn't have the right to do it. 


Especially when said troops are fighting for that right in the first place. 


Unfortunately, people have been ignorant enough to not do their research and figure out why the protests continue.


People continue to harass and call people out because they choose to protest, like an African-American family at a Detroit Lions game, who were placed on Snapchat. The captain read "ignorant n******." 


And somehow, the whole NFL has managed to water down the protest, to where people now believe the point was to protest Donald Trump, who I don't believe is worth the time of day. 


It's astonishing to see such racial misunderstanding amongst the American public. 


That people of color can't protest, loud or quiet. We're not allowed to be outraged or have different opinions from employers, without fear of not being hired. 


It's a harsh lesson to learn. Never let someone tell you how much things have changed from the 1960s. If you believe that, then a lot of things will surprise you. 


I'm not surprised, however, and until that surprise comes, my TV will be off on Sundays. 

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
Check out other Popular Articles
Recommended Reading

Hot News





  • IC Facebook
  • IC Twitter
  • IC Instagram
Follow The Independent Collegian

Serving the University of Toledo community since 1919.

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Snapchat Icon

    Like what you read? Donate now and help us provide fresh news and analysis for readers   

© 2017 The Independent Collegian, Collegian Media Foundation