OK, I confess it. I love football. God help me, I love it so! I played in high school and college and I love the New England Patriots. The sport has long been a sanctuary from partisan politics. If one is a Patriots fan, it doesn’t matter whether other Patriots fans are Democrats or Republicans. Social class and race don’t matter. The main thing that unites us is a burning hatred of the tyrannical Roger Goodell! And as Patriots fans, we have learned some foreign languages. For instance, “Gronkowski” is Polish for “touchdown.”
Unfortunately, politics intrudes more and more these days. ESPN has decided that sports fans care about the political opinions of their idiot talking heads. And we all breathlessly await the next political commentary by a player! Just kidding. To paraphrase Laura Ingraham, “shut up and knock someone on his ass!”
Some time ago, then-San Francisco 49ers’ backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick generated a firestorm of commentary by refusing to stand for the national anthem. “I am not going . . . to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he said.
Kaepernick in March opted out of his contract with the 49ers and became a free agent. No team has picked him up and he languishes in football limbo. Kaepernick’s boosters denounce the NFL owners for shunning him because of the “courage” his stance demonstrates. But such praise is silly. These days there is nothing courageous about a celebrity who mouths trendy liberal pieties regarding race or other hot button social issues. Big deal. What price do they pay?
Bruce Jenner claimed to be a woman and won a “courage” award from ESPN. University of Missouri lineman, Michael Sam declared that he is gay and was given far more chances on the field as a final round NFL draft choice than his meager talents warranted. Kaepernick parroted the fraudulent Black Lives Matter narrative and was praised by no less than President Obama. And Spike Lee is on his side, recently organizing a protest at NFL headquarters to denounce the failure of any team to bring Kaepernick on board.
There are a couple of problems here. First, despite a couple of decent years, Kaepernick has not been picked up because he…well…he stinks! Colin Kaepernick is no Tom Brady. He isn’t even a Jeff Hostetler. What team wants to pick up a mediocre player (at best) who brings with him political baggage sure to offend fans?
Most of the players get it. Running back LeSean McCoy of the Buffalo Bills told reporters that he didn’t think Kaepernick was a “good enough” player to be worth the “chaos” he would bring into the locker room. “I think his situation is not good enough to have him on the team with all the attention that comes along with it,” McCoy said, adding that players interested in making statements could perhaps “choose a better platform to state their beliefs.”
Second, poor Colin seems to be . . . well . . . half of the phrase would be ”whipped.” Since Kaepernick himself is far from oppressed (he is of mixed race, raised by adoptive white parents, given a full scholarship to the University of Nevada, and, with one good year in the NFL under his belt, was paid nearly $20 million annually to ride the 49ers’ bench), whence cometh his courageous social concern for the oppressed of America? Evidently, the source of his “raised consciousness” (as the Marxists would say) is Kaepernick’s girlfriend—his very own Lady Macbeth. Nessa Diab (who simply goes by Nessa) is a Bay Area DJ, MTV host, and BLM activist. Her local radio show predictably focuses on America’s many sins.
It seems Nessa really stepped in it recently. The Baltimore Ravens were reportedly interested in signing Kaepernick. Ray Lewis, the former Ravens linebacker and now NFL Network commentator, argued on Kaepernick’s behalf, advising the quarterback to “get back on the football field and let your play speak for itself.” Lewis added, “I applaud you for the things that you stood up for,” but he said that Kaepernick surround himself with people who would “stop encouraging you to be caught up in some of this nonsense.” Hmm. Whomever could he mean? So the lovely Nessa tweeted a pic of Lewis and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti paired with a still from Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” suggesting that Lewis is Bisciotti’s house slave. You go, girl! Way to help your man out!
Kaepernick and Lady Nessa Macbeth might take a page from a guy who actually did something to improve race relations in this country: the legendary Jim Brown. While he supports Kaepernick’s cause, Brown has criticized his actions. “I’m going to give you the real deal: I’m an American,” the ex-running back said. “I don’t desecrate my flag and my national anthem. I’m not going to do anything against the flag and national anthem. I’m going to work within those situations. But this is my country, and I’ll work out the problems, but I’ll do it in an intelligent manner.”
Brown’s comments puts me in mind of something that the great boxer, Joe Louis once said. During World War II, Louis, who was at the height of his career, volunteered to join the U.S. Army, serving nearly five years and boxing hundreds of exhibitions. He defended his title twice, donating his entire purses to Army and Navy relief funds. However, after the war, he was hounded by the Internal Revenue Service to pay back taxes on the purses he had donated. A reporter asked him how he felt about serving in the U.S. military of a country that still treated him as a second-class citizen. Louis replied, “Lots of things wrong with America, but Hitler ain’t going to fix them.”
Oh, and one more thing, Colin: ditch the Angela Davis look.