Colin Kaepernick Calls Fraudulence Amid NFL's Recent Social Justice Gestures
September 15, 2020 at 7:52 pm
In recent months, the NFL has proactively attempted to change its image after admittedly blackballing Colin Kaepernick over his protest against police brutality. Naturally, the former San Francisco 49er quarterback, who remains unsigned, isn’t moved by the conglomerate’s recent performative actions.
A number of corporations declared their allegiance with the Black Lives Matter movement following uprisings over the death of George Floyd beginning in late May. The NFL got in on the trend of allyship despite its history trying to silence players protesting social injustice.
The league decided to implement performances of the Black American national anthem "Lift Every Voice and Sing" before Week 1 games. During Alicia Keys' rendition of the song on Sunday, ESPN reports a video centered around the movement for social justice included footage of Kaepernick kneeling -- the same move which led to his blackballing.
During this performance, Keys also announced her partnership with the NFL in her $1 billion fund for Black-owned businesses.
Without mentioning any initiatives or gestures specifically, Kaepernick expressed his thoughts on the league’s latest gestures on Twitter on Sunday.
“While the NFL runs propaganda about how they care about Black Life, they are still actively blackballing Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) for fighting for the Black community," the former San Francisco 49ers said, not even bothering to mention the league's admitted blackballing of himself over his protest against police brutality. "Eric set 2 franchise records last year, and is one of the best defensive players in the league.”
While the NFL runs propaganda about how they care about Black Life, they are still actively blackballing Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) for fighting for the Black community. Eric set 2 franchise records last year, and is one of the best defensive players in the league. https://t.co/KQXTaOCcnU— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 13, 2020
The tweet referred to his fellow teammate and partner in activism, Eric Reid, who was the first to kneel alongside Kaepernick when he began his protests in September of 2016 per The Guardian. According to Deadspin, Reid’s dedication and skill have made him a No.2 free agent contender – yet he’s still without a contract from any NFL team.
But unlike Kaepernick, who wasn’t allowed to become a free agent after the league blackballed him, the NFL still dangles possibility in front of Reid.
“My agents have been in communications with teams daily, but there have been no developments,” Reid told Deadspin.The superstar safety was the first NFL player to take a knee with Kaepernick. And that protest has ultimately cost him the opportunity to play for the league.
Football fans shared their support the players’ mission for justice, and one fan encouraged Kaepernick to start a Black football league akin to baseball's former Negro Leagues.
Kaepernick and Reid were at the top of their game when they kneeled in protest of police brutality. If the NFL’s social justice initiative were sincere, the first step would be to get the two playing again.
The league has been given several opportunities to walk it like they now talk it. Time will continue to tell.