Colin Kaepernick this weekend called Independence Day a “celebration of white supremacy” and ‘rejects’ it. Ok, so…I guess no hot dogs and apple pie for Kaepernick then?
Kaepernick, a former NFL quarterback who gained notoriety for kneeling during the national anthem, has said that it wasn’t about disrespect for the flag or the country. But it appears that his latest rant IS about disrespect for the country that he lives in. So I’m confused.
Of course, one can’t help but wonder why Kaepernick cares, given his point of view, about whether one majority white country declared independence from another majority white country or not.
But, then again, Kaepernick has never been known for his intellect. This is the same guy that held a press conference to speak against oppression while wearing a Fidel Castro t-shirt. He has a long term relationship with a woman who is an avid Muslim (though reports are contradictory whether Kaepernick himself has actually converted to Islam). Yet, interestingly, only in the Cairo Declaration of 1990 (yes, 1990!) did that religion officially come out against slavery, and to this day in parts of Africa black slavery, if not officially condoned, is still widely accepted.
And, while Thinking Man realizes it’s a bit of a cliché, it still makes one wonder, if Kaepernick hates the country so much, down to the fact that it exists at all, why doesn’t he just leave? He’s a multi-millionaire and so he certainly has the means to do so. And, unlike Castro’s Cuba there are no restrictions that prevent him from leaving.
There are a lot of countries that people hate so much that the government prevents them from leaving. The United States is not one of those. For all of our faults, and there undoubtedly are some that we must work harder to address, Kaepernick has gotten rich in this country, he can speak his mind without fear of arrest or prison and he can come and go any time he wants.
In Castro’s Cuba that he admires so much, the government wouldn’t let people leave though untold numbers wanted to do so. Thinking Man personally knows people who fled Cuba because they hated its government so much, risking their lives to just leave. And they left behind everything they owned. Kaepernick could go any time he likes, and can take all his millions with him.
In East Germany, they built a wall literally to keep people in. In China, people can’t leave, much less speak freely against the government. Or in Venezuela or…. Mr. Kaepernick, you can not only speak your mind here, but you can go to Cuba and take your millions of dollars with you, if you really believe that place is so much better. In the United States, you have that option. However, some advice: if you choose to go where you so admire the leader, be sure you like it because you won’t have the option to leave.
And while we are on the topic, can we dispel the silly story line that Kaepernick is not playing professional football because he has been black-listed? That’s just ignoring facts to promote an image he wants to cultivate. Let’s call it what it is: Kaepernick is not playing football because he was a bad player. He lost his starting job with the 49ers to Blaine Gabbert. Yes, Blaine Gabbert. If you don’t know who that is, don’t feel bad. That same Blaine Gabbert had been cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Two seasons after beating out Kaepernick for a starting job, he couldn’t make the roster of the Tennessee Titans as a backup. No doubt, Kaepernick had one fairly good year (notice the word ‘one’) in an otherwise very forgettable career (without getting into a lot of details, let’s just leave it at the fact that he had a career winning percentage of under .500).
And lest we forget, Kaepernick opted out of his contract. The 49ers did not cut him. He voided his contract himself. And he was later offered a contract by the Broncos reportedly for $7 million/year but turned it down because he didn’t think it was enough money. He also turned down an offer to play in the Canadian Football League. Kaepernick isn’t sitting out because teams have a vendetta against him. He’s sitting out because he is a bad player and because he chose to sit out. People can argue all they will, but they are arguing against demonstrable facts.