Colin Kaepernick: Oppressive Irony?

I love football. It is my favorite sport. I have been a diehard Jets fans for nearly 20 years now. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick recently made headlines for something not football related. I love football, however when a player or players bring politics into it. I have a problem. You might say why not politics in football or what’s the problem he was doing something right! To preface my take on Colin Kaepernick and his refusal to stand during the national anthem. I want to say something about the NFL and politics.

The NFL and politics have long been intertwined. The NFL is the beneficiary of politics that promote economic growth. The NFL is worth over 9 billion dollars. Local and state governments both help facilitate NFL teams and their ability to operate within their state and city. Even the federal government loves football, in the 1970s, the NFL was able to get non-profit status. Usually reserve for charities and churches, the NFL runs like any for-profit business. Under the non-profit tag, they receive huge tax breaks. The NFL with the help of the government also has a monopoly on its brand. With no anti-trust laws restricting it. So you could say the NFL has benefited politically. The way stadiums are built and teams are supported is through taxpayer money. The politics around the NFL center on economics. So why do I have a problem with Kaepernick?

My problem is that Kaepernick took political stance during an NFL game. There’s a saying that goes “don’t mix sports and politics”. The reason for this saying is that politics is real life issue and it tends to divide people and takes away from the fun of the game. If you go to an NFL game or watch it on tv then you probably aren’t interested in the political views of the players or coaches. In addition, I think it’s a little ironic that Kaepernick who has contract worth approximately 114 million dollars to trying to fight oppression. I applaud him for realizing that oppression is a real thing and that it exists. However, I find his sit down to be less effective. Sure, he has brought nationwide publicity to the issue. That’s still not enough to fix it.

Oppression or the feeling of oppression is a common thing among minorities. The best way to fight it, is by being fair to everyone. Helping people out by doing charity work or donating money. I hope the irony isn’t lost on Kaepernick that he has the ability to make real change. Many people who are oppressed are not rich. The oppressed tend to be poor because they have no influence or because of their sexuality. Typically money gives one influence, but in historical cases your skin color matters more. Rather than just sitting down in civil disobedience, Kaepernick should take it a step further. He should donate to charities that help minorities and poor people. Unfortunately for him, civil disobendience in the world of sports is looked down upon. In any other situation, that would be a noble thing to do.

I want to applaud Colin Kaepernick for his motives in sitting down. However, I think he should put his money where his butt is. (pun intended) I think that if he were to donate to charity he would see a lot more good. Standing up for people is one thing but an act of kindness is a totally different thing. Next time he feels the need to put politics into football maybe he should just do it in the offseason, less backlash for him. Just my thought.

Thanks for reading! Part 2 of my economic series is coming soon!

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