Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Kaepernick's Commitment to Justice and Social Reform has Become Bigger Than Football

Photo credit: Gerry Melendez-ESPN

Politics + Sports:

Colin Kaepernick has become the headline of more than enough think pieces floating around and this blurb is no different. On one side, numbers show that the peak of his career was in 2012. Since then, his passing rate has steadily declined, 2013-2014 being the beginning of that downward spiral. On the other hand, whether you agree or not, there's a bigger issue as to why he's currently not on a team and being black balled - pretty much - by the NFL and his fight for justice has cost him his career. However, "opting out" of his contract with the San Francisco 49'ers this season may actually have been the best step he has taken to seek a higher purpose and only pursue things that align with his beliefs, which is commendable.

Since the beginning of time, all kinds of crimes and sins have been backed by executives and owners standing behind their players, but when it comes to black athletes taking a stand regarding equal rights, it's automatically deemed "anti-American". When Tommie Smith and John Carlos put up their fist during the national anthem at the 1968 Olympics, the International Olympic Committee suspended them both from the team and banned them from the Olympic Village shortly after. When it comes to social activism, in professional sports especially, it can be a notoriously shady business that causes so many people who are truly passionate when it comes to injustice in America, to question why they we continue to support big businesses that deny people - specifically black men - of their basic rights when black men make up more than 65% of what brings these leagues millions of dollars in revenue each year.

Photo credit: Mike McCarn, - Associated Press
Things such as boycotting are always a matter of personal opinion/preference, a person thinking for themselves and having their own beliefs is an abomination on social media, where many people have expressed that they will be boycotting the NFL. Group think is what causes people to jump on band wagons, simply because it sounds good. I am aware of the circumstances (and have been for quite some time now) accompanying professional sports in the United States. I am also aware that normal doesn't necessarily make anything right, but there are many ways to take a stand on pressing issues without having to sign up to do what everyone else is doing. To add to that, there is probably an infinite list of other things I support in some way shape or form that aren't necessarily jumping to the podium when it comes to equal opportunity or standing up for human rights. 

With that said, as terrible as it may sound, I won't be boycotting the NFL; that's just not my ministry. However, Kaepernick's pro-activeness in provoking change and effort to be a part of the solution is nothing short of inspirational and at this point, it has to be much bigger than football for him. Combining 3 things that people avoid grouping together here (faith, sports, and politics), but - with a sincere heart - I really do wish Kaepernick the absolute best going forward, even if it's not in God's plan for him to get back in the game.

What are your thoughts on NFL's response to Kaepernick's peaceful protest? 

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