I'm not feeling it because I believe the best thing that has happened in sports in years has been the courageous protests led by Colin Kaepernick. Yes, there are criticisms being waged against him from every sector of society, but we have quoted Sekou Ture repeatedly for you when he said "if the enemy isn't doing anything against you, you aren't doing anything!" Most of Kaepernick's critics are so uninformed about the issues he's protesting that you couldn't fill a human pore with the level of analysis that they possess. But, worse than those ignorant people, the reason I can't bring myself to watch today is I'm sick of the contradictions. Don't get me wrong. I realize completely that the NFL is simply a corporation and with that comes all of the components that represent corporate exploitation, but because I like the game of football e.g. I played it and I've always watched it, I still managed to separate the politics out briefly so I could just enjoy the game for what it had to offer. I know that that for the most part, the players are nothing to be respected. I admire their athletic ability and their capacity to perform on the field. Its never been more than that, until Kaepernick's brave stance. Now, I have had in him a player that I actually admired as a human being. So, although I realize that power concedes nothing without a demand (Frederick Douglass) I have been insulted by the NFL's efforts to blame Kaepernick for the league's lower television ratings this year. They are saying the protests are turning people off. And, consequently, more and more turned off people are refusing to watch football games, because of Kapernick's principled protest against police terrorism.
So where we are is the NFL would have us believe that people are more offended by Kaepernick standing up against police violemce than they are at all the senseless murders of people by police. I'm offended by that just like I'm offended by the fact the now late Fidel Castro can be called an evil dictator and a brutal oppressor of the Cuban people when I know Cuba has one of the lowest incarceration rates in the world. I also know that there have been less than 1000 state sponsored executions by the Cuban government since the revolution started in 1959. By comparison, U.S. police have murdered over 800 people this year alone! So clearly, there is something seriously wrong with anyone who criicizes Kaepernick while ignoring the problem he is protesting against. And, there is also something very wrong with the NFL if they feel they can even suggest that their image problem is because of Kapernick without them even considering that maybe people are more turned off by the significant number of woman abusers who don NFL uniforms. I'm offended because the NFL would never say that their ratings are down because they are only rhetorically committed to being against the abuse of women. I'm offended because as low as consciousness is in this society, maybe its true that more people are offended by Kaepernick than the reasons he's protesting. Maybe more pepole do care about respecting a disgusting flag than they do the loss of life or the abuse of women.
If the above is true, I don't blame the average person because they are pretty much only going to know what the capitalist system makes available to them. I do blame the NFL because the people making decisions for them know better. They know that they promote players who don't have an ounce of integrity while hanging Kaepernick out the dry, the player who has demonstrated the most integrity of anyone in their league. So much for creating youth role models. So, I blame the NFL completely. I blame them for striking a deal with the U.S. military to accept millions of dollars from the Department of Defense. That's why you have the constant presence of military exercises and presentations at NFL (and National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball) games. Its a simple marketing technique by the military to further advance the false notion that you should be thankful for people using your tax dollars to go overseas and dominate and kill hundreds of thousands of people to advance multi-corporate agendas.
The NFL is a disgrace. And, its another clear example of why capitalism doesn't work because this system is only concerned about one thing, profit, profit, profit. So, Colin Kaepernick is the only good thing about the NFL. And since I'm San Francisco born and raised, I loved the fact Kaapernick, wearing the S.F. uniform, is taking his brave stance. I've enjoyed getting peeks at him performing on the field, playing pretty well for the most part, therefore validating his political posture.
The NFLs' claim against Kaepernick and their ratings makes it clear that we cannot expect to win this propaganda battle on their terms. We have to make the NFL pay a price for disrespecting us as a people. I can't control with others do, but I can make my statement by refusing to watch right now. I can continue to raise this issue within the context of our larger struggle. I don't know for sure, but I'll keep trying to figure that piece out. For the next couple of weeks, I'll be in Africa where there are no NFL games and I'll do what I can to inform people of these and other contradictions. Everyone needs something to help them decompress. Since I don't smoke - anything - drink, or do any type of narcotics, watching sports is one of the ways I decompress. I guess I need to start looking for otehr alternatives.