Many wise people have said some variation of, “Those who don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” Regardless, the United States refuses to truly acknowledge its violent racist past, fraudulent “founding,” and history of institutionalized and systemic racism. Whether the failure is a matter of convenience or some other reason, is a moot point; it’s ignorant and has set the stage for the seemingly never-ending cycle of injustice and inequity.
Because America’s ignorance regarding racism has been consistent throughout history, so have protests against the same. Since the U.S. has a love affair with sports, one of the most popular platforms to address political, social, and economic issues has always been athletics. So when NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling/sitting during the Star-Spangled Banner, no one should’ve been surprised.
People were surprised, though. They were also appalled, disappointed, and ready to go on the attack.
Folks couldn’t believe that the young man who was living the dream of millions of young people worldwide would have the audacity to protest the racial and other injustices playing out in America. The nerve of that guy!. But because no good deed goes unpunished, the embattled but unbothered Kaepernick remains unsigned.
Arena and semi-pro players have been chosen over Kaepernick, who is a solid quarterback. Not just solid — there are third-string QBs being considered for starting jobs due to injury when Kaep is a playoff-caliber signal caller. Simply put, there is no justifiable explanation for Colin not having been signed.
As a result of what seems to be the NFL having blackballed Kaepernick because of his decision to protest racial injustices in America, many people are protesting the NFL by not watching. It may be working.
Although The League wouldn’t dare credit the Kaepernick boycott as the reason, they have confirmed that their opening night ratings were among the worst ever. A “disaster,” even.
Despite week one, night one featuring the almost always popular Tom Brady, ratings were down 12 percent from last year. That probably wouldn’t be as big of a deal as it is if this wasn’t the fourth straight year that ratings were in the toilet.
Whether the NFL acknowledges the Kaepernick boycott as the reason or not, data doesn’t lie. As long as Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned, there are a significant number of people who will remain unwilling to support a professional sports entity that seeks to silence its players in the same ways slave masters once hushed their slaves.
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