Colin Kaepernick, the former Super Bowl San Francisco 49ers quarterback has come to be known as a controversial figure in international sports. He’s been sparking fires ever since the 2016 when he sat during the national anthem to protest against the police brutality and racism towards African Americans and Black folks in the United States.
Kaepernick went further by kneeling during the singing of American national anthems. He’s since then generated both national and international attention with praise and criticism including criticism from President Trump.
Kaepernick has become a free agent since 2016, and yet to be signed by any team. Equipped with the evidence of a gang up to not hire him, he pursued a collusion grievance against the NFL in 2017, and reached settlement early this year with an agreement that remains undisclosed. The fact that Kaepernick can’t find a job despite being a super star alone testifies to the existence of the very demon of racial and economic injustice he seeks to fight.
On November 15th of this year, Kaepernick showed up at his work-out field in Riverdale, Atlanta wearing a tee shirt with “Kunta Kinte” boldly written on it. Kunta Kinte or “Kante” is the name of the main character in Alex Haley‘s book called Roots, and it chronicles the story of a young African boy from Gambia who was kidnapped and forced to work as a slave in the South during Trans Atlantic Slavery era.
The Kunta Kinte Kaepernicks that this generation now needs are the talents and the gifted who don’t just have the platforms but are using the platforms to help drive a change. Their actions garner media attention, and force the hand of the system to make a move.
Many people have the opportunities to use their platforms to bring light to important issues that plague the society, but they look sideways or fold arms like cowards. Everybody is protecting their pockets. In the end they make billions and have nothing to show for it other than materials things. They stood for nothing.
As for Kaepernick, history, as witnessed by this generation, is the judge. In his old age when he looks back, he’ll sure be glad he’d invested in what money cannot buy.