So Who’s Winning Now Donald…. the Colin Kaepernick Saga Continues
It has been over two years since Colin Kaepernick – a former 49ers quarterback- protested against police brutality where he sat down during the national anthem of a pre-season game. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Colin Kaepernick said.
Since then, Colin transformed from a highly paid football star to an outspoken social justice advocate. The player even pledged to donate $1 million to social justice causes and community groups throughout the country.
On September 22, 2017, President Donald Trump urged the NFL owners to dismiss players who won’t stand for the national anthem. And by October 15th , the same year, Kaepernick filed a grievance against NFL, accusing the owners of colluding by failing to sign him and keeping him out of the NFL.
Well, racial injustices especially for black people have been rampant in the United States, but did Kaepernick went overboard in his protest?
Colin Kaepernick’s Collusion Grievance Against the NFL
The joint statement released by the NFL representatives and counsel of Mr. Reid and Mr. Kaepernick stated that the parties had decided to resolve the filed grievances. This is after he won his major victory last year August when one of the NFL arbitrators allowed his complaint to proceed to the official trial phase.
The statement ends a long scuffle between the NFL and Kaepernick, which the NFL has unwaveringly denied conspiring to keep him out of NFL after Colin began kneeling during the national anthem in protest against police brutality and racial injustice. His protest sparked condemnation from President Trump. Although the settlement means Colin’s official case is closed, discourse on his impact on patriotism, activism, and race might continue for long.
Colin Kaepernick’s Brief History on Kneeling Protest
It was in 2016 when Kaepernick began his protests against racial inequality and police violence. He first sat and later knelt during the national anthem. His act flickered a hot debate about activism on the football arena. The protest drew the ire of some fans and of President Donald Trump whose remarks twisted the protests into the referendum on matters of patriotism and race. Later, Kaepernick left the 49ers and became a fierce unsigned free agent. His last NFL game was in January 2017. After nine months, Kaepernick filed an official grievance against the NFL, citing that the league’s owners and officials colluded to keep him out of the field.
However, the league repeatedly argued that there was no effort to conspire against Kaepernick. But in May 2018, the Yahoo Sports challenged the NFL’s argument by reporting that the league executives contracted a poll in 2017 asking fans about their thoughts about Kaepernick remaining as an NFL player. This might be a shred of watertight evidence to prove that the NFL conspired to keep the player off the field.
NFL Owners’ Determination to End Trump’s Complaints About the Protests
President Donald Trump has been adamant and very transparent about his feeling towards NFL protests. When on a campaign trail, President Trump criticized Kaepernick’s protest notably calling the NFL to fire the players calling them “sons of bitches.” He asked Kaepernick to find a country that works better for him. This is clear that the president was annoyed particularly where protests on police violence and racial injustices should not be about disrespecting the national symbols of America.
Donald Trump has claimed credit for Colin Kaepernick no longer playing football. He also suggests that the league should impose stringent measures on players who continue to protest. Though this does not mean he colluded with the NFL. After all, he is not an owner of the league. However, law experts illustrated that Trump might be a catalyst for collusion within the league.
Is The Saga Yet to End?
When it was ruled that the case could proceed to the trial, NFL and Kaepernick were left with only two options: settling the scuffles before the case proceed or let the hearing continue. Given the continued remarks about the protests and the response from the NFL, it’s likely Kaepernick would allow the hearing to continue.
The settlement of the collusion case means the grievance will never get an official verdict. The fact that NFL agreed to resolve the case shows that the league wants to repair its image after the Kaepernick’s protest sparked tremendous shift within the league.
Although Kaepernick’s football career remains uncertain, the ongoing national dialogue about sports, race, and protest will not end anytime soon and the change might be hard to reverse.