Pete Rose is banned from Major League Baseball. He’s considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time being voted Rookie of the Year, winning three batting titles, three World Series, two Gold Glove, and one Most Valuable Player Award. He went to the All-Star game 17 times where he played five different positions (no one else has ever done that). And yet, he’s still not in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Why did Major League Baseball banish Rose in 1989? He gambled on teams while he was managing and playing on the Cincinnati Reds. Even Ty Cobb is in the Hall of Fame. MLB is really pissed at Pete Rose.
What did Colin Kaepernick do to be banned from the National Football League? Did he beat someone up? Did he beat up a woman? Was he accused of rape? Did he operate a dog-fighting operation? Was he caught doping up? Did he go out and say a bunch of racist and derogatory comments? Did he expose himself to a female reporter? Was he snagged with underage prostitutes at a massage parlor? Was he accused of murder? did he cheat in the Super Bowl? Did he take out bounties on opposing players? No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, and no. All that stuff won’t get you banned from the NFL. So what did Kaepernick do? Kap protested police brutality against black Americans and a legal system that treats Americans unevenly. Basically, Kap said, “Stop killing black men.” The NFL said, buh-bye.
The NFL is really good at lip service. They can literally put the money where their mouth is when it comes to raising charity and they’re good at putting up a dog-and-pony show. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, they make their players wear pink shoes. And when Donald Trump started screaming “Fire that son-of-a-bitch” at his hate rallies over black athletes protesting during the national anthem, the NFL claimed they stood with their players, but banned them from protesting…and they banned the man who started the protests, Colin Kaepernick, from playing in the league entirely.
Kaepernick is not officially banned. It’s more of a wink-wink-nudge-nudge-don’t-you-dare-hire-that-guy ban. Last year, after being out of the league since 2016 with no NFL tryouts from any team since, the league gave him a tryout day where every team was invited without the certainty of which would attend. It blew up after the NFL threw a contract at Kaepernick that was unlike the usual contracts for tryouts. The tryout blew up. It was the NFL pretending to give Kaepernick an opportunity. Yet, not one NFL team has invited Kap to their practice facility for a tryout. I mean, it’s not like the quarterback ever took his former team, the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl. Oh, wait. Yes he did. You would think that in the four years since, one NFL team would have said, “Hey, let’s look at that guy.” They won’t even let him apply for a job.
Several current players in the NFL released a video demanding the league take the protest against police brutality seriously. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell responded with his own video and said, “We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter.” Wow, hey, yay…uh…what’s missing from that?
What’s missing is Colin Kaepernick’s name. They’re against racism and apologizing for being on the wrong side, yet they can’t admit where they were wrong. They say they believe “black lives matter” but can’t admit they’re still punishing someone for believing “black lives matter.” While they now say they “encourage” players to speak out and peacefully protest, they can’t admit they’re punishing a player for doing so.
But the thing is, there’s a difference between “not listening,” which is what Goodell is admitting to, and silencing, which is what they did. They silenced players. The banned protests on the sidelines before the games would start and stuck them in the locker room during the anthem. It’s like saying, “you can protest, but you have to do it silently and out of sight.” The NFL rule was, you can protest as long as nobody can see or hear you.
Colin Kaepernick was not protesting against being asked to help fight a pandemic. He wasn’t protesting because wearing a mask is uncomfortable. He wasn’t protesting for the right to get a haircut or go to the Cheesecake Factory. He didn’t storm a state capitol with an AR-15. He protested the killing of black men by police. Most people can’t even say “police brutality.” For doing the right thing, he was punished.
Drew Brees said he would never agree with someone protesting against “our flag” and cites his two grandfathers and their bravery in fighting for this nation. Drew failed to understand the issue and while citing his grandfather’s bravery, could never live up to the bravery of Kaepernick.
Donald Trump is another coward attacking the NFL, Kaepernick, and black players while hiding in his bunker.
Roger Goodell, every team owner, and every general manager in the NFL are cowards too. They’re afraid of the backlash from angry right-wing fans by bringing back a black man who spoke out against racism.
Speaking out against racism is the right thing to do. The National Football League is four years behind doing the right thing. But as it’s been pointed out, it’s not good enough for white people to not be racists. They need to be anti-racist.
Goodell’s statement says they won’t be racist anymore but we need the NFL to stand up and be anti-racist. The NFL isn’t doing that. It’s just more lip service. They’re still afraid. How can they stand up and help fight racism when they can’t even cite their past racism or fear of speaking against it? How can they stand up and fight racism when they can’t even say his name?
His name is Colin Kaepernick. He put his career on the line for doing the right thing. You punished him for it. You should allow him back in the league and while protesters chant, “Say his name” in regards to George Floyd, the NFL can’t even say “Colin Kaepernick.
Say his name.
But, all and any help is greatly appreciated and it helps keep me going. Think of me like a street performing busking out tunes on a corner (I won’t play “Wonderwall.” I promise). If you like the tune, or in this case, toon, throw a buck into the tip jar. It’ll help me play another song, draw another toon, write another blog, make another video, and post another snarky post on social media. It’ll help keep me alive. You can also order a signed print for $40. And if you don’t like the PayPal option, you can snail mail it to my P.O. Box.
Watch me draw.