I haven’t watched a single pre-season or regular season NFL game this year and trust me I love football.
Nevertheless, I made the decision not to ever turn another Television set on to another NFL game for one reason.
The league blacklisting of Colin Kaepernick.
Whenever I say I will never watch another NFL game, my white associates, nod in agreement obviously believing that I am mad that a few NFL players led by Kaepernick dared to kneel for what they believe.
I never missed a chance to quickly explain to them that I haven’t stopped watching because I believe that kneeling during the National anthem is a sign of disrespect to the flag or worse is some kind of convoluted disregard for the Military.
They generally nod “oh I see” and that’s the end of that.
A silly little restaurant in La Grange Ville has a sign displayed [No football games here] obviously a way of saying they stand with the Military.
I have never been there to spend a penny and will never ever set foot in there. You see it’s only in cases like these that you get to see the true character of people.
Unfortunately, African-Americans largely have no concept of the strength they wield through the power of their wallets and pocketbooks.
The fact of the matter is that there is absolutely no connection between the Military, the National Anthem, and football, outside the sponsorship the NFL receives from the Defense Department.
There’s neither a constitutional or moral requirement to stand for the national anthem, it is simply something people do out of love of country.
Nevertheless, there are several ways to love country outside getting liquored up at a football game wrapped in the flag and pretending that the military is next to God.
We can begin by loving and caring for our fellow man regardless of who they are, what color they have or what their sexual orientation is.
We can begin by shedding hatred and the awful ignorance which causes the ignoble character flaw called racism within us.
Many who wrap themselves in the flag and pretend to have a monopoly on patriotism would never sign up to serve their country. Others in high offices found myriad excuses to avoid fighting for the very country they now claim to love.
So lets cut to the chase Colin Kaepernick is no villain for kneeling neither was Rosa Parks a villain on December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama when she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man.
Muhhamed Ali was no villain when he refused Army induction on Apr 28, 1967. and neither were Tommy Smith and John Carlos’ when they made the black power salute at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
The undeniable truth of the matter is that more than a half a century after Jim Crow, Segregation, the march on Washington, separate but equal and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King there is a stubborn percentage of white America which ignorantly believes that blacks should be relegated to the back of the Bus.
They fundamentally believe in social order but cares nothing about justice for the downtrodden.
These are they who decry broken windows and civil disobedience but does not bat an eye at the blatancy and the viciousness of state sanctioned oppression of marginalized communities of color.
This kind of blatant oppression and racial superiority is now given new life when out of the highest office comes the call to blacklist and punish citizens who dare to stand up or in this case kneel to bring attention to systemic racial oppression.
Writing for (the Nation.com) Dave Zirin said :
This NFL season has blazed new political trails as players have used their platform to stand up to racism in the face of a ferocious backlash. It has truly been a season of firsts. But there is another “first” on the immediate horizon that speaks to the league’s baldly reactionary history in regards to race.
The NFL—for all their corporate rhetoric about being something that “brings the country together”—of course, has a team named after a Native American racial slur in the nation’s capital. That’s not news. What is news is that on Thanksgiving, for the first time in league history, this team in Washington will be playing host. That means as we finish our food, slip into sweatpants, and to gather around the television to watch NFL football, a tradition only slightly less ubiquitous than pumpkin pie, the R*dskins slur— a name that exists only because of genocide and displacement—will have center stage.
For many in the Black Community at all levels of the spectrum none of this matters, they will continue watching the games and hooting and hollering because after all , missing the game is not an option.
For a couple hours of entertainment, they are quite willing to continue to support the perpetuation of a system which will continue to enslave their children and grandchildren in perpetuity.
After all, in the African-American community, nothing [trumps] entertainment, not even the future of generations to come.