Colin Kaepernicks Agenda
I have been asked by several people to speak about the Collin Kaepernick issue. Notice I didn’t say the Black Lives Matter issue. You will notice that theme throughout this, the attention is on Kaepernick, not “his” cause. In my opinion, this was not an accident.
In the entertainment world today, there is a saying, “Attention is attention”. Positive or negative. This is the reason that so much of today’s TV is so polarizing. This is the reason Skip Bayless is still employed. When we cover WWE, I always talk about the heels (bad guys). The best heels are the ones that get booed the loudest. No matter how much people may hate them, people hate watch them. The wrestlers who are in the worst situations, in the most dire straits, aren’t the ones getting booed the loudest. The wrestlers in trouble are the ones that get no reaction at all. This brings us to Collin Kaepernick. Not a wrestler, a football player. A bad one. A once great one. One that used to have all the attention, and suddenly had none. Kap was faced with a choice. The man that Ron Jaworski once said could be “The best QB ever”, had a choice to make. Over the past few years, Kaepernick’s star has faded fast. The once bright young QB was in serious danger of not making his NFL team. Would he slowly fade into oblivion, the darkest corners of sports fans minds, a space occupied by the likes of Ryan Leaf and Jamarcus Russell? Or would he do something about it? Kap decided to do something about it. The thing he decides to do however, nobody could have predicted.
The thing that bothers me about this is the motive. Kap began to see what the public has thought for a while, people do not care about him anymore. So what does he do? Does he work harder, does he fight tooth and nail to gain back his starting job? Does he put his head in the sand and keep a low profile until he becomes his teams face again? No. Kap decides to sit during the national anthem of his country. A country where people of every single ethnicity have died to protect his right to insult them. A country with a black president. A country that pays him 114 million dollars to play a game at a poor level. Kaepernick decides to call attention to himself by sitting during the most sacred of American moments.
I can see both sides somewhat. I understand Kaps right to “protest”, but that is the problem. This is not a protest. This is a publicity stunt.
We try not to be political at CXN and we try to see both sides. I respect a person’s right to protest but I do not respect a person publicly disrespecting the flag of the country that pays him 114 million dollars to play a game. What he did was disrespect, it was not a protest. A protest would be him donating some of his 114 million dollar salary to his cause, or using his status to shine a positive light to it.
Sitting during his COUNTRYS national anthem does nothing to shine a positive light on his cause, it makes people associate it in a negative light. This faux protest did nothing positive, in the same way violent riots do nothing positive. Associating your cause, whatever it may be, with a negative act completely negates the substance behind your original message.
Instead of bring attention to his cause, he brought attention to himself. That was the plan all along. Now, when the 49ers cut him, he will still have his name in the news for a few weeks. Not his cause, but his name. The American people do not care about his cause. If his protest ever was about his cause, then it failed. Miserably. The only thing the majority of people think about Collin Kaepernick now is anger. Anger at a failed football player’s selfish attempt to bring attention to himself. Anger at a failed football players attempt to use a major national issue as a smokescreen for attention.
Instead of starting a positive dialogue that could have truly made change, Kap wanted the attention. Attention is what he got. The football impact will be astronomical. Bleacher Report recently interviewed 7 NFL execs, all of which stated that they had ZERO interest in Collin Kaepernick. The execs saw what I saw, a failing QB calling attention to himself while using a real cause to do so. They want no part of that and I can’t blame them. As we stated earlier, Kaepernick was already in serious trouble of not making the 49ers roster. Now that probability is very close to zero.
Expect Kaepernick to be cut in the coming weeks, and his unearned 114 million dollar salary to suddenly be cut off. Expect the attention to last a few more weeks. Expect to wait for an announcement of a Collin Kaepernick signing, an announcement that will never come. Hopefully there is a lesson to be learned in this Kaepernick mess. There is such a thing as a positive protest. You don’t have to be violent, there doesn’t need to be any insult to get a protests point across. Sitting during the National Anthem shows a great disrespect for real people who fight and have fought for our great country. There is no possible way that sitting during the Anthem could have been spun in a positive light. For this reason, Collin Kaepernick’s stance was completely doomed from the absolute get go.
This article started as show notes for my podcast on iTunes. As I got to typing I realized that I had much more to say than a few bullet points would allow. I realize that there is a subset group of people that have a problem with what I have said today. That is fine. If you have ever heard my podcast you know that I think that is what makes America great, its difference of opinions. I would love to hear your opinion on the article over on the SportsCXN Twitter page.