Before the person was introduced to Colin Kaepernick, a line of contestants symbolized the struggle to overcome forms of racial discrimination in American sports
” I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color .”
Those were the words of Colin Kaepernick, then the quarterback for the San Francisco 49 ers, when his decision to kneel during the national hymn firstly described widespread attention.
It was 26 August 2016, before a pre-season play in front of Kaepernick’s home crowd at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. He had already sat for the chant during his team’s firstly two pre-season tournaments, seeking to draw attention to police brutality, but only on the working day did his actions inspire immediate questions.
” To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be greedy on my own part to look the other way ,” Kaepernick, then 28, said.” “Theres” bodies in the street and parties getting paid leave and going away with assassinate .”
Today, Kaepernick is unemployed- sidelined in the past year by the most popular sports conference in America. On Sunday it was reported he was set to file a lawsuit against the NFL’s team proprietors claiming the government had colluded to keep him out of the league.
Last month, he was labeled a” son of a bitch” by Donald Trump, who utilized the bully pulpit of the presidency to start an explosive squabble with the NFL by recommending actors who kneel during the pre-game portrayal of the Star-Spangled Banner be fired.
The controversy has taken center stage in Trump’s culture war, pitting his overwhelmingly grey base against the predominantly pitch-black players who have protested in the pursuit of criminal justice reform.
A stormy series of events has followed Trump’s comments, which were enlarged by large-scale on-field protests and an initial appearance of solidarity by the NFL with its musicians. Within a matter of weeks, the president has successfully obliterated the debate into such matters of patriotism, driving a wedge between actors, franchises and fans.
And last week, the NFLappeared to acquiesce.
Although the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, said there had been no formal change in policy, a character he sent to all 32 units stating that athletes should stand for the hymn advocated a rule change might be under way.
For civil rights advocates, apossible reversion would differentiate thelatest in what the hell is see as punitive measures to silence black articulations- bringing the issue full circle since Kaepernick first took the position that resulted him down a path of isolation.
Although the declarations boiled to the surface in the last few weeks, the intersection of politics and sports has been an underlying topic in the US dating back well over a century.
Before the person was introduced to Kaepernick, a long cable of jocks, some with stories much lesser known, symbolized the struggle to overcome the persisting preeminence of racial discrimination in American sports.
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