This past week was full of Kaep-Drama… and he’s not even an NFL player! Stephen A. Smith used his Final Take on ESPN’s First Take to speak on Seattle Seahawks D-Lineman Michael Bennett’s belief that the embattled QB would be a perfect fit in Seattle as the teams backup to starter Russell Wilson. Smith went on to say how he felt Kaepernick was a hypocrite for not voting after taking his stance to kneel during the National Anthem this past season stating his disappointment in someone not exercising their rights and using their celebrity to invoke change.
Bennet fired back in a less than flattering manor at Smith and Friday the feud came to a head. Smith feeling the need (though those who have followed his career already knew) to defend himself, explaining the role he has played not only in the Athletics world, but in the role of minorities and what he’s done to help improve the lives of those in those impoverished communities.
Firstly, I am a veteran. I signed up to defend this country, fight for her freedoms and rights and ensure those rights are never denied to anyone. I loved that Kaepernick chose to invoke his freedom of speech, though I did question what the end game was. To me personally social change and movement has to start with a purpose and have a goal in mind. Kaepernick’s stance, lacked that end goal.
Then comes this year. The fact he is no longer on an NFL roster and the divide that has caused in the NFL not only among players but fans.
Firstly, Kaepernick was not cut from the 49ers… he walked away. There was a team there that he could have played on, competed for a starting job and continued his career resurgence. He threw that away, he tossed the contract he signed to the side and chose to chase money from another team that was not interested.
Secondly, what happened to the good fight? Kaepernick kneeled for a purpose, to bring light to an issue that has been swept aside and considered widely as the norm and an unfortunate happening that we have grown numb to… despite the fact that it is a major issue. However, Kaep decided that this season he would announce that he would indeed stand for the National Anthem, a move seen by many as a desperate ploy to show NFL teams he had matured. My previous question of what the end goal was never got answered and we along with countless others were left in the dark.
Here is the thing, it is not just production wise that Kaepernick is no longer in the NFL, it’s not just the off the field drama that he brings to a team. The issue is the marriage of both along with his price tag and the feeling that he needs to start. For all the applause Kaepernick received from those people he was trying to defend, he should receive a collective shaming from them for his selfish move to chase more money, and then the transparent move of announcing he was going to stand this year as he was casting his line out to sea, in an effort to lure in NFL teams. These actions basically censored his voice and political/social movement he was trying to shed light on. Colin Kaepernick silenced Colin Kaepernick.
I for one will continue to see what he does, what good can come from his actions of criticism of the system and what he plans on doing to improve the life of those people in a community hoping that this setback doesn’t stop him or others from seeing the true injustices that have been going on for decades. There was a community that needed a leader, and when he came around to take the torch, he crumbled and left that community silenced as he chased what some have considered the apple from the Tree of Knowledge.