The Vilification of Colin Kaepernick = No Surprise

Colin K.
San Francisco 49er, Colin Kaepernick

On August 26, 2016 a celebrity and person of color expressed his sincere concern over the loss of Black and Brown lives to police brutality…and chaos immediately ensued.

Following a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers’ Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick was questioned about why he sat down during the Star-Spangled Banner, to which he remarked: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.”, effectively announcing his decision to protest given the numerous minorities who have perished as a result of police brutality and excessive force.

Kaepernick went on to say: “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

The backlash was, of course, instantaneous. Kaepernick was immediately called a racist, a cop-hater, ungrateful, unpatriotic, blah, blah, blah. The reaction from equality-intolerant “fans”, faux patriots, and athletes was exactly what I expected, and yet I still feel as if I’m experiencing déjà vu because I swear I’ve been here before. In fact, I’m pretty sure I saw similar reactions from racists and faux patriots following Jesse Williams’ speech at the 2016 BET Awards. I also saw Beyoncé vilified for her performance of Formation at Super Bowl 50, and more recently after her performance at VMA 2016. Why are celebrities of color who take a stand against police brutality automatically deemed “racists” and “cop-haters?” Why must celebrities of color be subjected to an assassination of their character when they display support or concern for other people of color?

Over the past week, Kaepernick has been so vilified one would think he was Satan in a football jersey. I don’t recall Kaepernick going out onto the field wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the words “Fuck the Police” over his chest. I don’t recall Kaepernick going out on any football field and setting an American flag on fire. Kaepernick opted for a peaceful protest, the keyword being peaceful, so why have there been calls for his dismissal from the San Francisco 49ers? I don’t understand how an American who chose to exercise his right to peacefully protest can be considered unpatriotic. I don’t understand how an American who wants justice and equality for all Americans can be considered unpatriotic.

While recognizing August 29th’s well-deserved “Donkey of the Day”, Charlamagne Tha God made this marvelous statement: “What Colin Kaepernick is doing is exercising his right to protest. He’s exercising his right to freedom of speech, and those are constitutional rights that he has as an American citizen, and I applaud that man for doing this because he has nothing to gain and everything to lose. The easiest thing to do when you’re successful in life is forget about those who may be going through it, but Colin is smart enough to know his money, his status, mean nothing because as long as he’s a person of color in America he can still get profiled and brutalized like anybody else. Colin Kaepernick isn’t throwin’ the middle finger to patriotism, he’s throwin’ the middle finger to prejudice, and if you as an American who loves America would have a problem with a person demanding justice for a group of people, demanding equality for a group of people, demanding the constitutional rights that are promised to this group of people under the laws of America, if you have a problem with that then maybe you’re one of those patriotic prejudiced people who loves America, but not all the people in it.”

It would be remiss of me to fail to acknowledge the fact that Colin Kaepernick is a sexual fantasy incarnate.

Full disclosure: I am not a football fan, nor will I ever be. I have one reason for watching football, and I assure you it is not sports-related. I watch football to shamelessly ogle the lust-inspiring male bodies that take the field, and nothing more. I know nothing about the mechanics of football, and even less about Colin Kaepernick. However, I do know that his choice to protest peacefully required a tremendous amount of courage, because in the words of Charlamagne Tha God, he has “nothing to gain and everything to lose.”

As always, subconsciously and overtly racist Americans are uncomfortable with their celebrity idols voicing their political views or social concerns; they just want to be entertained. To quote Lkeke35: “Black performers aren’t allowed to be socially conscious. There’s this idea that people with money, especially Black people should just be grateful for their privilege and keep their mouths shut.” Kaepernick did what few of today’s celebrities use their fame to do: call attention to a problem that is impacting the lives of people of color everywhere, on a daily basis. He used his platform to voice the fact that hate crimes and police brutality shouldn’t be tolerated in a country that is supposed to stand for “liberty and justice for all”, not for some. I don’t think this was a spur-of-the-moment decision for Kaepernick, and I’m certain the decision to act weighed heavily on him. After all, he has risked money, endorsements, and so-called fans to do what he felt was right. The fact that he’s being condemned for standing on the right side of history says a lot about the current state of America and Americans. The cowardly thing to do would’ve been to turn a blind eye to injustice, and continue to collect checks, like so many others have done thus far and will continue to.

As America regresses to the 1950s version of itself (along with the mindsets of many Americans), the dream of “liberty and justice for all” remains unattainable for many people of color. With hate crimes on the rise, recurring cases of police brutality, and even discrimination against natural hairstyles, 2016’s America has reached a place of social and racial unrest. According to The Guardian’s The Counted, over 542 people of color were killed by police in 2015. 318 people have been killed by police this year, and there are still 4 months left in 2016. As far as I’m concerned, silence during a time of social unrest is equal to condoning the oppressive conditions that are affecting others. Silence is cowardice. Sure, we’re all the same on the inside, for the most part. We all have red blood. The problem is in America the color of your blood is the never the issue, it’s the color of your skin.

From left to right: silver medalist Peter Norman, gold medalist Tommie Smith, and bronze medalist John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics






  1. lkeke35

    Well said! I applaud him and all the other celebrities who speak out. There have, throughout history, been black Americans who spoke up, and white people always hated them

    What I would like to know is where are all those good, “not a racist” white people, coming to his defense. Why are they silent during all of this. The ones who are against police brutality are right there saying something, so I don’t mean them, but where are all the others who claim to be such wonderful people, (with all these black friends that they don’t care get killed by the police?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TheWarner

      The silence is deafening. I’m equally disgusted by the fact that most celebrities remain silent. You don’t hear anything from the so-called progressive, humanitarian A-List actors and actresses. The loss of Black lives is low on their “Shit that Matters” list. If it were any other group of people being killed constantly on the news Hollywood would be on some “We Are the World” type of thing, but it’s just Black people, so it’s ignored.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. demetriusconner89

    Excellent write up. Duane Thomas did the same thing back in 1971 when he played for the Cowboys. I believe he was the first NFL player to do so. His career was shattered because of it. The press led people to believe he had other issues going on leading to him being let go from the team but it was because of him sitting down during the anthem.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. TheWarner

      Thanks for reading. I’m loving your videos, man, so keep ’em comin’.

      As I said, we see this hateful reaction every time a celebrity of color voices their concern for people of color, or supports their community in any way. The subconsciously racist mind wants to remain blind to the truth and ignore and deny the existence of racism (be it systemic or otherwise) and oppression in today’s America. Now that Americans and America has regressed we’ve seen a dramatic increase in hate crimes against people of color. Racists now feel emboldened to outright murder people of color because they know more than likely they will be acquitted of any charges.

      We are intelligent enough to know that every Caucasian isn’t a bigot, nor does every police officer resort to violence. However, to deny what’s happened to this country, and continues to happen is absurd.

      You have morons telling Kaepernick that he should leave America if he doesn’t like it, but I pose this question: What about Americans like Cliven Bundy and his crew? I find the fact that they threatened to shoot government officials quite appalling. They showed clear disdain for the United States of America’s government and laws, and yet they were heralded as heroes for having an armed standoff with the U.S. government. How unpatriotic was that? Yet I don’t recall hearing anyone say: “Well, if Cliven Bundy and his crew don’t like the American government and doesn’t approve of the way this country is ran, they should build The Mayflower II and leave!”

      We have a different set of rules for different groups of people, and when people should be held accountable for wrongdoings, they aren’t. This is why America is now in a place of social unrest.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Darryl Walker Jr

    Great piece! I agree with your assessment that black athletes are simply supposed to perform, take their checks, and keep their mouths shut. Seeing the reaction to this shows that people in the lime light can spark revolutions of thought almost immediately. I hope more athletes do this

    Liked by 2 people

    1. TheWarner

      Thank you so much for visiting, and for your support. I checked out your site, and I noticed you do movie reviews. I love movies, and I love hearing what other people thought of them, so I immediately subscribed. Your recent review of Working Girl was in-depth analysis of the film.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. TheWarner

        Your love for film is obvious. Stand by Me, The Lost Boys, Heavenly Creatures, A Room with a View, Agnes of God (I saw this when I was like 5, and I loved it), AlienS, Angel Heart, Candyman, Coffy, Crazy, Stupid, Love, etc. I’m glad you comment on my site or I might never have found yours. Pretty awesome.

        Liked by 1 person

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