Thursday, November 3, 2016
Land of the Free Black Men
NFL ratings are down by large percentages and many attribute this, credibly, to the spread of Colin Kaepernick's National Anthem protests. What we have right now is the stark reality that uneducated conservative white men hate few things more in the world than a fully free black man — particularly a decidedly wealthy, physically fit, fully free black man who unashamedly and unabashedly raises his black fist in the air during the “Star-Spangled Banner.” That’s exactly what we have the NFL right now. Dozens and dozens of players from half of the teams in the league have raised their fist or taken a knee during the anthem with nothing more than a face of stone cold seriousness and it has clearly unnerved Donald Trump’s base to the point that they would rather stop watching the NFL than fix their eyes on a black man who is not seeking their love or approval. Let’s be honest. As far as the NFL is concerned, it’s absolutely a black and white thing. It’s why 100% of the white players that the Bleacher Report surveyed said they were supporting Donald Trump. It’s also why 100% of the players who’ve taken a knee or raised a fist for injustice are black. The divide on the field is simply representative of the divide off of it. It’s not unique. It represents the deepening divide I see all over this country. And: What is it that they hate exactly? He doesn’t curse. He’s never been in trouble a day in his life. He doesn’t abuse women. He plays hard in every game from start to finish. He’s calm, cool and quiet. He isn’t overtly emotional. They hate him because he’s free and because he is standing up for victims of injustice who’ve been railroaded by the very system they love and hold dear. Muhammad Ali was widely celebrated when he died earlier this year, but when the man was alive and standing up for black folk, he was widely despised by the same demographic that hates Colin Kaepernick today. But here’s the thing — we’re not going backwards. Black athletes in every sports league in America are standing up in brand new ways and feel fully empowered to do so. It’s amazing that we’ve gotten to this point, but here we are. This is America. 2016. More.