Spike Lee, who’s apparently been living under a rock for the past year and a half or quite simply doesn’t get it, is perplexed that no NFL team wants to sign blackballed NFL protester / quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who hit the free agent market this year when he opted out of his current deal with the San Francisco 49ers.
We all know Kaepernick’s history by now. The former biracial media darling who took the NFL by storm in 2013 when he led the 49ers to the Super Bowl caused a stir this past season when he began kneeling during the National Anthem to protest social and racial issues (his words, not ours).
The team stood by him and some of his NFL peers in other cities mimicked Kaepernick’s peaceful, yet puzzling, protest in a stunning show of solidarity. Critics figured it was merely a ploy to keep himself relevant since he had been relegated to backup duty behind the vastly ineffective Blaine, but when Gabbart proved to be an even worse option midway through October, the 49ers gave Kaepernick his old job back despite the media firestorm they knew would follow.
Truthfully, Kaepernick wasn’t all that bad in his 11 starts in 2016. San Francisco would’ve finished with the worst record in the league were it not for the Cleveland Browns and Kaepernick did manage to throw 16 touchdowns with only four interceptions despite limited options offensively. Objectively, you could make a list of the top 32 quarterbacks – one for every team – and squeeze Kaepernick somewhere near the bottom, maybe even closer to the middle in the right environment, but that’s not always enough to guarantee long- or short-term employment in the NFL.
Ray Rice, now 29 and two years removed from his final season with the Baltimore Ravens, could probably still out-gain half the clumsy, oafish ball-carriers masquerading as legitimate NFL running backs – for Christ’s sake, he can’t be worse than Todd Gurley – but none of them punched their fiancées square in the jaw and dragged their unconscious bodies across a casino lobby.
Likewise, none of the 32 quarterbacks set to open the 2017 season as starters metaphorically stomped their dirty boots on the American flag with a half-hearted, disingenuous protest that proved to be more divisive and disrespectful than anything said on the campaign trail in November.
This is the America that people like Spike Lee and other vegans / transgenders / liberals don’t understand: while you have your right to protest, occupy Wall Street, or wear foam vaginas on your head to take back whatever rights you think you lost, the 1 percent that does all the hiring, has all the money and controls your life with its ability to keep you gainfully employed has the equal right to tell you to go pound sand for being an insufferable dick.
The fact is while Rice and Kaepernick are guilty of far different “crimes” – keep in mind Kaepernick hasn’t broken the law – it’s entirely plausible that they can’t get a job because they’re assholes.
At the end of the day, it really doesn’t what Kaepernick or anyone else in Kaepernick’s corner thinks the National Anthem stands for because they’re wrong. The song doesn’t glorify slavery. No one even sings the second verse, let alone the allegedly racist third verse millennials never knew existed until someone on the internet told them to Google it.
When the Star Spangled Banner is played at a sporting event, you stand up, take your hat off and keep your mouth shut for a few seconds to reflect on why you’re so fortunate to have all the freedoms that come with being an American despite never having to fight for any of them yourself, and then you can go back to tagging yourself at the game on Facebook or Instagram.
And if you still need to be reminded why you should stand, you should be forced to stare at Richard Drew’s photograph of “The Falling Man” for an entire week with your eyelids taped open, lest you forget why we sing and who we’re singing for, otherwise peel off your skinny jeans and go fight these wars yourself.
Even Kaepernick’s charitable endeavors, such as donating books and clothes to homeless shelters and writing checks to assist communities in need, come off disingenuous considering he didn’t open his wallet – or closet – until after he realized what an ass he made of himself by kneeling during the anthem in the first place.
Then he flipped the Star Spangled Banner protest into an outcry against police brutality, as if the song is somehow representative of the actions and / or policies of an individual police force anywhere in this country. That line of reasoning makes little to no sense. The truth is Kaepernick had no idea what he was protesting, so he picked the most current trending topic on Twitter along with the subsequent action that would draw the most attention, the equivalent of throwing shit against the wall and hoping it sticks.
Nothing Kaepernick says or does comes off as genuine; he burst onto the scene three years ago as a happy-go-lucky biracial angel with neatly-trimmed facial hair adopted by two Christian parents showing off all of his cool tattoos on the Super Bowl pre-game vignette, including his Christian cross with the slogan, “Heaven Sent,” underneath. Then he started dating a Muslim “Blacks Lives Matter” activist and, after thumbing through the pamphlets on her nightstand, grew out his Afro and beard and went from One Man Gang to Akeem “The African Dream.” Kaepernick is like every white kid who wore FUBU and went to a P.M. Dawn concert in seventh grade to impress the hot black girl in homeroom.
If you still don’t think Kaepernick is a fraud, consider the fact he formally announced he’d be dropping his protest in 2017 shortly after becoming a free agent – in other words, “I need a job, so I’ll behave now.” At least stand by your cause, unless you somehow think you fixed America’s racial divide in seven months. He also didn’t vote in this past election, so there’s that, too.
The next time Spike Lee asks, “What crime did Colin commit?” we’ll have the answer. He’s an asshole, and it’s well within anyone’s rights to tell an asshole to go find a job somewhere else. God bless America.
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