Colin Kaepernick is in the news again, and like the last time, it is not for the right reasons.
While in Ghana, social justice, not Independence Day, was clearly on the activist quarterback’s mind. This Independence Day, when most people are waving flags, grilling out with friends and blaring the Star Spangled Banner, Kaepernick was taking a trip to his “home.” No, not California, where he was raised by two white parents, but Ghana.
The message that Kaepernick is trying to send could be the most noble message, with all of the facts on his side, but his methods of delivering that message will not win any fans, if he even cares about that any more.
How can we truly celebrate independence on a day that intentionally robbed our ancestors of theirs? To find my independence I went home. pic.twitter.com/hniYGJeLxG
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) July 4, 2017
This off-season started with Kaepernick being cut, then getting no serious consideration from GM executives. There has even been buzz swirling around about Kaepernick going to play in the pass happy Canadian Football League.
Many on the left have spent this off-season calling NFL execs racists for the lack of interest Mr. Kaepernick has garnered. This does not help his cause. In fact, this negative media and cloud that follows Kaepernick is exactly why he has not even received a cordial call in.
The NFL did not ban Kaepernick; he made himself radioactive.
In case you missed it, the half black, half white, multi-millionaire quarterback refused to stand for the national anthem this year. His reason: he would not stand up for the flag of a racist nation, one where cops “hunt down black men.”
The backlash was immediate, and it was intense. At one point, the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, felt the need to publicly state that at the NFL, “We’re all about patriotism.”
If you have to state it, that’s not good. After trying to deny that the NFL’s ratings were down because of this protest by not only Kaepernick, but many other players, the media finally relented. Daniel Roberts of Yahoo Finance goes on to state “Now recent reports suggest that one of the factors dismissed by many has in fact had a definite impact: player protests during the national anthem, led by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.”
Not interested in laying low, letting things blow over and potentially joining the league that has made him rich and famous, Kaepernick decided to make another political stand. Once again, Kaepernick chose another time when reasonable, patriotic people have little, to no, tolerance of hatred of America: July 4th.
The quarterback that leaves many people incensed says he is on a “personal independence,” journey and that he “had to find out where my ancestors came from.” This digging into his lineage has supposedly him to Ghana.
While there, instead of spending time celebrating the history of his family, Kaepernick took time to rip apart America’s history. In a tweet, he expresses his inability to enjoy a day many Americans take pride in celebrating.
“How can we truly celebrate independence on a day that intentionally robbed our ancestors of theirs? To find my independence I went home.”
That was not all Kaepernick had to say though. He went on to say more on his Instagram page.
"What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence?" – Frederick Douglass. In a quest to find my personal independence, I had to find out where my ancestors came from. I set out tracing my African ancestral roots, and it lead me to Ghana. Upon finding out this information, I wanted to visit the sites responsible for myself (and many other Black folks in the African Diaspora) for being forced into the hells of the middle passage. I wanted to see a fraction of what they saw before reaching the point of no return. I spent time with the/my Ghanaian people, from visiting the local hospital in Keta and the village of Atito, to eating banku in the homes of local friends, and paying my respects to Kwame Nkrumah's Memorial Park. I felt their love, and truly I hope that they felt mine in return.
These comments seem to be revisionist history by Kaepernick, as it is a well known fact that blacks in Africa sold other blacks into slavery. Will Mr. Kaepernick call out those countries for their part in the awful history of slave trade?
Some suggest Kaepernick’s post was in response to comments made by John Lynch, the San Francisco 49ers general manager, a few days earlier.
Mr. Lynch gives Kaepernick the advice that he should focus on football, to show NFL owners that he is serious about his career. This move would also help fans focus on the player, not his politics, which is what owners want.
Distractions are not good, because they do not make teams money. In fact, as stated earlier, the really bad TV ratings means Kaepernick cost owners money. Poor performance and causing your boss to lose money will not ingratiate you in very many industries. In fact, I cannot name one that it does.
If Kaepernick really wants to be an NFL quarterback again, he should stop creating political headlines that fans will never support. Then again, Kaepernick has made millions off of the NFL, and its fans, so maybe social justice (even based on unfounded beliefs) is more important than throwing around the ol’ pigskin with teammates.