Let’s start with the basics: A protest is not a petition or a conversation. A protest is supposed to offend people. It is designed to disturb the peace, to jar the consciousness and to upset the apple cart. So any effort to tell somebody else how to protest an issue that they care about is tantamount to telling them not to protest at all- just so that those who disagree with them can be comfortable. To all of those people who take that position, I am not just going to tell you to go f*ck yourselves, I am going to tell you to go and read your American history after you are done. Protest is at the core of our national identity. And a protest that involves a man deciding to kneel down during the national anthem is a highly restrained and respectful means of expressing dissent.
This is a brief discussion about the protest of (former) NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the real life repercussions that followed. In short, Colin Kaepernick has lost his job because of his decision to protest police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem during games last year.
Don’t waste time considering all the bullsh*t about his play being substandard, thus justifying 32 teams deciding that he was not good enough to be one of the 3 quarterbacks on their roster. The idea that there are 96 guys in the world better at playing quarterback than Kaepernick only makes sense to people that don’t know shit about football or are so blinded by their personal politics that they would rather lose every game than let an outspoken black man earn an excellent living leading the team that they support.
Enter former NFL linebacker Ray Lewis to play the part of the faithful, grateful negro on cue making it easy for these small, bitter and bigoted fake patriots to feel good about blackballing this guy from the league. So let me get this straight: Ray Lewis is now the qualified arbiter of how a man should conduct himself publicly and how that man should be judged for his decisions. I won’t belabor the point and just state it plainly that Ray needs to just STFU about what anybody else does beyond tackling ball carriers.
Ray beat a murder rap back in the 90’s and his son beat a rape charge just last year. He played a child’s game until he was well into his adulthood. That’s not all he is, but its enough for me to conclude that of all the black men in the world, his opinion about appropriate conduct means less than most- a lot less.
But it does not matter because mainstream media outlets love to let unqualified black men speak on important issues that they have limited knowledge of or no business weighing in on. That helped make Charles Barkley a media star long after his NBA playing days were over. The media loves to amplify the half-baked, banal assessments of black men with big mouths, big egos, and pedestrian intellects- then posture like they are getting an authentic black male perspective.
That is the most unfortunate aspect of a culture that conditions people to worship stadium lights and studio cameras and whomever they may shine on for whatever reason. That produces stupidity in high profile, high accountability places. That is, after all, how we wound up with a President Donald Trump.
Ray Lewis has offered up opinion recently that supports the continuing unemployment of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He went on and on about his patriotism and knowing men who went off to the military and announced to him that they were never coming back home because they would die during their service. As a result, he offered up that Kaepernick should just “leave the flag out of it.”
I’m calling bullshit on all counts because I know where this guy is coming from. Me and Ray have a few basic things in common so I’ve got some insight that I think helps me assess this jive act better than most. We were born in the post-Vietnam era so there has been no military conflict that anybody who has enlisted since then has had to expect that he would not return home from. So that is bullsh*t up front. He never served himself because he always had better opportunities available to him and the same is true for me so that is just a statement of fact and not a criticism. We are both patriotic guys but we are operating on borrowed service bona fides.
Besides being black American men about the same age, height and weight we both communicate for a living and hail from undeniably urban backgrounds. We both loved the game of football but football loved Ray back so their connection has endured to the present day. But I have enough of the game in my history to understand very clearly what a locker room dynamic is like and what it takes to command attention and respect in a huddle. You never forget those things so when you hear somebody selling a bullshit narrative based on the assumption that most listeners just don’t understand it, your ears perk up.
Supposedly, because of his protest Colin Kaepernick is compromised as a player. But in truth, nobody in a huddle gives a damn about his now famous kneeling protest during the national anthem. They care about whether he is going to help them score. End of story. So Ray is full of shit- as he has been pretty much since he caught a huge break and the NFL let him back in unconditionally despite all the bad publicity of his arrest and charges for murder. So he is giving cover to the Baltimore Ravens organization for not signing Kaepernick when everybody knows they desperately need him.
This is the same team that has signed and embraced two players on the roster this year that have heinous acts hanging over them right now: Donte Stallworth killed somebody being reckless behind the wheel of his car and got a vehicular homicide case against him and Terrell Suggs beat the daylights out of a girlfriend of his and caught a domestic violence case. That kind of stuff is common enough in the NFL so they are both welcome on the team and Colin is not. Get the f*ck outta here, Ray.
I can dig that Ray is very grateful to the Ravens for letting him back in and embracing him fully- even taking care of him after his retirement. The sad truth is the great majority of those guys leave the game and are broke as a joke within a few years. If a guy gets taken care of by one of the teams or networks with post-play employment that is a beautiful thing. Big surprise, a very slim minority of guys who get that hook up look like Ray Lewis. Once they are out of the league, the fall off is steep.
Guys that get taken care of long term mostly look like Troy Aikman- blond headed, blue eyed quarterbacks who continue to be the first class citizens of the league while other position players are second and third class citizens at best. Sure, groupies in the club don’t know the difference and they are going to bow down and blow anybody who walks on the field but beyond that perk of the job the real life distinction between quarterbacks and everybody else is huge. So Ray is lucky and he knows it.
So while Ray is kissing ass for a team that has taken care of him, we also have the jealousy dynamic at work. Few quarterbacks in the NFL are black and so dudes like Ray have a pre-programmed jealousy against them for having the wealth and access in reality that they just pretend to have when they are on the scene. Kaepernick doesn’t really need the league to look after him with a plum job after he is done playing. His earnings dwarf those of guys like Ray Lewis so either way this goes, he’s going to be alright. And so with this bullsh*t public relations campaign, Ray gets to serve multiple purposes. The only question is whether the rest of the world sees through his jive ass like glass like many of his peers out here do.
∞ Thanks 4 checking in- Do your thing 2day & I’ll see you 2morrow π