Since that time I've written several pieces about Kaepernick's evolution. I've done that to make it clear that we should provide him nothing except our most dedicated and sincere support. My writings about him haven't been uncritical. I wrote one piece that challenged his early "surrender" to the reactionary political forces in this country that extort people into submitting to this insane support for U.S. troops. In that piece, I argued that the logic of this backward system is because the people who fight for it are our relatives and loved ones, we are supposed to forget that they are fighting on the wrong side of history. We are supposed to ignore that they kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people, not to achieve any freedom for those people or any of us in this country, but to advance the selfish and money first agenda of the multi-national corporate interests that they truly represent when donning that uniform. I don't know if Kaepernick ever saw that article, but I do know that he gets full credit for the continued evolution of his politics since that time. I haven't heard him talk in those initial glowing terms about the military since that time and his insistence on appearing with images of Fidel Castro, Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Huey P. Newton, and other clear anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist revolutionaries, makes it obvious that he has definitely come to some of his own conclusions about imperialism and the evils it presents for humanity.
So, despite the sad reality (for me) that its highly doubtful Kaepernick will play in San Francisco again, he has become my favorite football player ever, even if he never plays for any team again. For me, this is significant because I realize I basically define my identity today based on my political consciousness and activism, and my athletic pursuits to provide relief and balance. For decades now, I've worked out hard everyday and battled capitalism and imperialism with equal intensity. In a strange way, those two things define who I am in my mind and Kaepernick at this stage in his life, represents all of the best of both of those things in my life. So, even though I don't know him, he means a lot to me. And the fact he has most certainly backed up his on the field protests with concrete material assistance to the struggles against injustice all over the world, solidifies my connection to him. What all of this does is ensure that I will continue talking about him, whether he ever throws another touchdown or not, because people, especially our people, need to know about folks like him.
And what they need to know most about Kaepernick isn't that the spineless and cowardly people who are dishonestly attempting to argue that he hasn't been picked up by any team because of his lack of skill are all a bunch of lying horse manure scum. The numbers quickly prove how brainless those people are. Kaepernick completed 60% of his passes last year which by National Football League standards is more than acceptable. Certainly, more than enough to silence Kaepernick's critics who claim he cannot consistently hit receivers. He threw for 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions and last years numbers were no exception. Throughout his career, Kaepernick has thrown for over 70 touchdowns with only thirty interceptions. In professional terms, these numbers clearly indicate he does a great job taking care of the ball. And taking care of the ball is one of the defining characteristics of the quarterback position. I'm not arguing that he has surpassed Joe Montana and Steve Young as San Francisco's greatest quarterback, but to say he isn't good enough to be signed by any professional team in the U.S. is a straight out lie that is designed to serve the interests of those who wish to punish him for his political stances. Clearly, he's good enough to play in the National Football League. What he isn't is strong enough as an individual to battle the white supremacy that dominates every crevice of this society. And he shouldn't be expected to wage that battle on his own. That battle belongs to all peace and justice loving people. So, whether you like football or not is ill relevant. We all should use this situation to expose the corruptness of this capitalist system.
What are we exposing? Here is a man who did everything the capitalist system says you have to do to "make it" in this backward society. He worked hard (every teammate he has had from high school, college, and the pros, has confirmed this), had a great attitude, and reached the point where he was one of the very best football players in the world. Isn't that what making the National Football League as a player means? Then, after having great success on the field (coming to within five yards of winning the Super Bowl and then coming to within five yards of reaching the Super Bowl again the very next season), he decides to wage a silent and non-disruptive protest against a raggedy ass song that no sane person can argue represents anything except a glorification of slavery and oppression. Instead of people taking his brave example to examine how it could be that the song considered the national anthem of this country could have such offensive lyrics (that most of these people yelling the loudest at Kaepernick had no idea existed) to millions of people who were born here, these cowards chose to attack Kaepernick instead. And while he didn't buckle to this unfair and unwarranted pressure, he struggled to learn how to navigate the pathways of truth, which have absolutely nothing to do with how people live in this country. One of his first stops on this truth journey was the realization that voting fools people into believing they are charting the direction of this country when it actually only permits you the opportunity to rubber stamp an agenda that you have no ability to influence. Instead of people using this notice to have a real and long overdue debate about the uselessness of this bourgeois electoral process that passes as a democratic exercise, people attacked Kaepernick. And, often leading this off key chorus were multitudes of highly confused Africans, including many hollow heads in the world of professional sports. Now, Keap has apparently announced he will not sit around waiting for spineless executives within the National Football League to call and offer him a job. Instead of people using this as a great opportunity to have discussions about how challenging this political establishment will get you punished in this society (despite the lie that you have so-called rights that protect you) people are engaging this phony and cowardly argument about whether he is good enough to play professional football?
We should have thousands of Kaepernicks. We should be nurturing this by the dozens each day. He has shown us how to stand up and I'm eternally proud of him for that. I don't know if I will ever get to talk to him, but either way, I respect him for what he is trying to do for our people and for humanity. I know he must understand that the people who oppose him are people who have no idea how to live with principle and dignity. They are operating on a platform fueled by fear and ignorance. And, we shouldn't be angry at them because this all results from the capitalist systems desire to keep us all ignorant and afraid because being in that state prevents us from thinking and learning how to think is what will ultimately move us past this pitiful situation we are in right now. As for Kaepernick, you keep going Brother. There are many, many, of us who are doing the work like you are and we are with you. You are providing a strong example and the people who need to see it are seeing and being influenced by it. There are many of us who do know how to unite truth and reality.