The second the brother with the afro appears on the screen, the hate erupts.
"That's what you get for disrespecting the national anthem."
"Hopefully this is the last we see of this loser."
Then yesterday Colin Kaepernick took to social media to announce that he was leading an effort to bring water and food to Somalia.
Another conscious act by a man who is not afraid to be lambasted or even unemployed. His personal beliefs, desire to be a voice for those lacking one, and being unapologetic in his continuing efforts to help those in need have encouraged and motivated many. Simultaneously he has irritated, unnerved and scared many others because of what they perceive to be his defiance and disrespect. And just when we thought we had heard all of the repetitive trolls and haters, this tweet dropped.
Amazing how some Black people have actual vitriol for other Black people that are trying to do something positive. And these are the same ones who won't lift a finger to get involved in community service or humanitarian relief efforts, instead choosing to vilify from the safety of their keyboards, microphones or inaction in general.
This is the hypocrisy of haters and trolls, and sports fans in general. Sports fans are some of the quickest to hate and forgive. Everyone deserves a second chance as long as they help their team win; if not, they'll continue to hold a grudge.
Greg Hardy went to the Cowboys after domestic violence charges. Richie Incognito was signed by the Bills after bullying and using the N word against a teammate while playing on the Dolphins. Riley Cooper used the N word against a security guard at a concert, was fined, missed a few games but was back on the field that same season. Josh Brown assaults his wife and was still kicking field goals for the Giants.
But Colin Kaepernick takes a stand on human and civil rights by taking a knee and the world explodes. Not insulting a group or religion. Not committing a crime or assaulting anyone. Simply bringing attention to an important issue and he's basically become a criminal-like target for hypocrites. So everyone deserves a second chance except for a Black man who stands for what's right, right?
Colin Kaepernick (Getty Images)
Many have ridiculed Kaep and pointed out that he's unemployed because of his actions, and the latter appears to be true. Stories have been circulating that NFL owners are freezing him out because of his movement started last season.
Some of these owners are the same ones who are looking at players with criminal histories but won't pursue a talented player who has actually shown leadership skills both on (he almost lead the 49ers to a Super Bowl victory) and off the field, and has taken a conscientious stand many wouldn't dare to do.
It takes courage to continue to fight despite the repercussions that result. Is that not what you want from your quarterback, the man with the most leadership responsibility on the field?
The #Kaepernick cold by the NFL is all so foreseeable. Talk to NFL people. Not the most progressive folks you'll meet on the road.— Ralph Cindrich (@RalphCindrich) March 17, 2017
The NFL freeze-out of Kaepernick is dumbfounding yet not surprising.
In a League where an unproven Brock Osweiler, a modern day Scott Mitchell clone, can sign a $72 million contract, $37 million of which is guaranteed, it's ridiculous to think that Kaepernick can't compete for a QB job, either as a starter or a back-up. When teams are in search of good QBs, there's absolutely no reason not to bring in Kaepernick, even for a try out.
But apparently the backlash of his movement of protest outweighs his talent and positivity of his character.
Some feel that Kaepernick's PR team is in full effect, which is why he's stated that he won't be kneeling this season. Whether or not this is true is not really the issue. The fact is that he continues to fight and, contrary to the hate that seems to dominate in response to his actions, he does have lots of support.
And maybe, at the end of the day, the words of our own Ricardo Hazell holds the most truth, "Colin Kaepernick might never be an NFL star again, but it is quite possible that his true destiny lies off the field."
We all know the old saying that people are scared of what they don't understand, and it's never been more appropriate when applied to people of color. But if Randall Johnson, the CEO of AT&T, can state, "When a person struggling with what's been broadcast on our airwaves says, 'Black lives matter,' we should not say, 'All lives matter,' to justify ignoring the real need for change," then there's really no reason why Kaepernick can't be respected and, ultimately, employed.
So instead of trolling, try using that energy to do something that helps others.