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  • Writer's picturePhilippe Henold Buteau

Kaep is on His Way, a Few Missteps Will Not Stop Him

Colin Kaepernick did not kneel so that Colin Kaepernick could have a job in the National Football League.

Kaepernick worked out for 25 clubs of the National Football League on Saturday, November 16, 2019. The workout took place at a high school in Atlanta after Kaepernick moved it from a facility of the Atlanta Falcons. The remaining seven clubs would receive practice footage as would Kaepernick.

While the workout was on Saturday, Kaepernick asked for it to originally be on Tuesday.

On Friday, he asked for an independent media crew to record the workout, but the NFL denied his request. It can be argued the league would have lost control of the narrative but a who's-who of people from members of the press and Kaepernick's people would have backed up what happened.

More importantly, I don't think the NFL would have doctored the video in any way, because Kaepernick and his fans would have noticed even the slightest blip in the video. I respect him and the cause but he should have done the workout in the Atlanta facility. The NFL has more leverage than either Kaepernick or Jay-Z; the league owners can keep Hov off the table and keep Kaep in the stands. But those icons’ issues are represented in millions of people who can take their attention and money elsewhere.

Jay-Z wants to sit at the table with those multi-millionaires in charge of a multi-billion sports league who together can pay the bails, court fees, expired registrations, parking tickets, toll fees and suspended licenses of everyone who needs it in every state where there is an NFL team. If you want to hold Kaepernick accountable, fine but don't help the league owners move bringing awareness to our issues. None of them are resolved.

Let the owners convince and pay people to perform for their Super Bowl like anyone else who wants entertainment at their event. If Jay-Z wants to purchase a team then show up however many times a year for owners meetings but otherwise have the phone on mute while a lawyer listens those should be options available to a Black billionaire without this specific precondition.

Think about this: The only way rich white men will let a Black man in is if he puts on shows for rich white men.

If NFL owners actually want Colin Kaepernick to be a player on one of their teams they can do a better job of showing it. It should not include anything extra from Jay-Z.

It should include whoever in the NFL can do the job of asking the Cleveland Browns to consider Kaepernick for the remainder of the season. The team of course has the option to determine whether to sign him long term.

The owners are, however, doing a spectacular job of showing they at least only disagree with the method used to bring more awareness to racism in America. NFL owners simply prefers the players demonstrated for their cause not in that particular way and not another.

It’s offensive or disrespectful, owners have said or suggested about kneeling like soldiers do at the tomb of their deceased comrades, fellow soldier or member of the armed services.

Respect for our countries and patriotism barely exist in standing, hand on chest, head clear, eyes straight looking at an assortment of colors, shapes and a crest. Patriotism and respect for our countries exists when we recognize and uphold our humanity as individuals and through a government of, for, and by the people.

If our allies want to stay the hand of the government, why do their hands seem tied when the fist of the government is against us?

Intangibles matter and perception matter enough that production can be pushed aside because doing the right thing matters the most.

Kaepernick has sacrificed, is team oriented, has the work ethic, is philanthropic and is a youth mentor.

As for his production on the field…. Do I have to list the 2018 stats of the bottom 16 players in the NFL’s quarterback stats? Do I have to bring up the idea of Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr., Colin Kaepernick, Kareem Hunt, Nick Chubb and the developing Browns offense?

No, because human beings should be on each other’s side against sexism, misogyny, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, trans-denial or sexual predators.

The NFL players kneeling as peaceful protest or as a demonstration was not disrespectful as the players knelt in silence, maybe even in prayer like Tim Tebow. There was no talking, music, rapping, beat boxing, boombox playing as the anthem played, and neither was there stomping on the flag, ripping it, cutting it, wiping mouths with the flag, defecating or urinating on it. Moreover, the US Supreme Court ruled in Texas versus Johnson in 1989 that burning the flag is protected speech.

The NFL players kneeling was never disrespectful because it is against racism.

(In fairness, Eric Reid is still kneeling while with the Carolina Panthers.)

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