During the NFL season of 2016-2017, an African American player started to protest the national anthem. His name is Colin Kapernick, and he played for the San Francisco 49ers during that year. At first he would sit down on the bench during the anthem and it went unnoticed, but once he started kneeling the media/cameras started portraying him as a villain and that he has no respect for this country. Fans started to hate him and news channels started to convey a negative image of him.
A lot of people didn’t know the real meaning of why he was kneeling during the anthem. Since all they saw about him was negative messages, they were ignorant to the fact of civil rights. He kneeled because police was brutally beating and killing innocent African Americans and getting away with a slap on the hand. America is supposed to be the land of the free, brave, and equal. Yet because the color of somebody’s skin, they aren’t treated equally as everyone else. Now fast forward to 2017, Kapernick is not in the NFL anymore and no teams will sign him to a contract. It might be because he is black, they don’t want a lot of attention and they just want to focus on football, or maybe it is because the owners are trying to send a message and censor him from free speech.
I know a lot about this topic because I am a huge sports fan but I am still very unclear on why he isn’t in the league anymore. A lot of teams are struggling to find a quarterback, but will rather suffer than to sign him to a contract. He is a very good player and can help a lot of teams turn their franchise around, but why won’t anyone sign him? I probably won’t get a clear reason as to why he won’t be signed or if he will ever throw a snap in the NFL again but I believe that this issue is going to change America and hopefully for the better. All because one man decided to protest and have free speech on what he believes in. I want to know what new information has come about in the league on this situation. Why owners won’t commend him for his actions and sign him. Also some of his teammates did the same thing with him but why aren’t they getting any backlash? During my research so far, I have found out that he is okay with taking the blame rather than anyone else. He is okay with the media hating him and people being upset. He knows that he was recognizing his first amendment and no matter what anyone says, it’s not going to change his opinion, only positive actions towards equality will. “Kaepernick is a symbol just as Ray Rice is a symbol. Their actions were very different, obviously. But NFL teams will gladly take five men who act and think like Colin Kaepernick before signing Kaepernick himself, just as they often take players who commit domestic violence but want nothing to do with Rice. Teams are not taking any kind of political or moral stand. They just don’t want to be associated with a symbol” (Rosenberg, 2017).
The research is very frustrating for several reasons. It is hard to find a legitimate reason on why he hasn’t been signed and why the NFL is hypocritical. They say the NFL stands together and promotes equality and peace but yet won’t sign a man who has demonstrated that to the highest degree. He is going to change this generation and generations to come because he decided to take a stand. It reminds me of Rosa Parks, MLK, Malcolm X, who are all public figures standing up for their rights. Their actions have made a change in the world and now it is no longer segregated but there is still racism. If this going to be the end of racism because of his actions? We don’t but we should all work together to promote change.
As my research went along, I didn’t develop any new questions but the main questions I have won’t be exactly answered. It is kind of a opinion based answer because everyone might disagree and have a different argument. This is why the topic is so debatable and hard to truly find an answer. I have to use critical thinking to understand on where both sides are coming from. He is doing what he believes is right and the other side (NFL owners) believe it will have a negative image on their franchise.
I have found that the NFL is a huge business and it’s all about making money. So if they have a player who has a negative image and can damage a team’s reputation, then it is a hard decision to make. If your team starts to lose fans, then they start to lose money and that could create a lot of unwanted attention. I believe that’s where morals come in to play. How an NFL owner was raised and on if he truly believes in equal rights or is just trying to portray an image that they do. What if Kapernick is let back in to the league and does fantastic? What if he makes a huge impact and leads a team to a championship? They a lot of people’s opinions might change about him, but he hasn’t had a chance to prove himself to the fans because of his actions.
A new article that came out today October 31, 2017, says Kapernick is expected to sign an NFL contract within the next 10 days. Now if this is true I don’t know because I don’t know who his agent talked to. There are a lot of teams suffering without a quarterback and they are losing money, so it possible might be true for a team to take a chance on him. Colin Kapernick has touched a lot of players hearts, now they are kneeling and protesting together to show that he is not alone.
I have found that this topic will be debated for a very long time. If MLK didn’t take a stand and speak his mind, America might not have changed for the better. I learned that it only takes one person for everyone to start changing together. I have somewhat changed my perception on the NFL when the season started a few months ago and I don’t watch it as much as I used to. A very good player with the same skin color as me is not allowed to play because he is different from everyone else and is bold. I could only imagine what if that was me and I did what he did. I would be upset with how America is and that we will go backwards as a country if you don’t stand with me.
Colin Kapernick has risked his career to promote change in the world. Police brutality, riots, and racism still exist hundreds of years later. We claim that we are the greatest country but what do other countries thing of us. We have a racist president who had everything given to him, we have the highest crime rate, and our economy is horrible compared to other countries. How are we the greatest country and we can’t even appreciate what we have?
Rosenberg, M. (2017, August 15). si.com. Retrieved October 31, 2017, from sports illustarted: https://www.si.com/nfl/2017/08/15/colin-kaepernick-national-anthem-protests-charlottesville
In this article Michael Rosenburg talks about how the NFL is being hypocritical to what it stands for. He gives several examples of players and how the NFL says they stand behind them but won’t let that player back in the league such as, Colin Kapernick. The NFL wants to portray the message that they are for equal rights and freedom of speech but in all reality it is just a business.
Siegel, L. (2017, September 25). nytimes.com. Retrieved October 31, 2017, from New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/opinion/nfl-football-kaepernick-take-knee.html Lee Siegal talks about the reason why Kapernick took a knee and what impact it has made on the players today. Players across the league are kneeling together, locking arms, staying in the locker room for the national anthem. They are showing unity for a brother of their who is not in the league possible because his boldness or color of his skin.
Wilson, R. (2017, October 12). cbssports.com. Retrieved October 31, 2017, from CBS: https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/donald-trump-nfl-should-have-suspended-colin-kaepernick-for-kneeling/ In this article, the president Donald Trump talks about the NFL protest. He shares his belief that any player who protests the anthem should be kicked out or suspended from the football league. They are disrespecting the country and the people who have died to keep this place safe. He believes that Kapernick should have been suspended for his actions so that he learned to not do it again.