News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Sept. 7, 2018: Call it WAR, because it is.
Donald TRUMP vs. Colin KAEPERNICK.
THEM vs US … choose your side. It should be an EASY choice after reading this episode.
Allow me to coin a phrase right here. “SPORTS is WAR by other means.”
Thank you Carl von Clausewitz, who famously wrote: “War is the continuation of politics by other means”
So what is going on here if you don’t know because you are living on Mars with Elon Musk without a good Internet connection? We already know Donald Trump is a SYMBOL of a mean spirited, regressive view of our country. Then along comes (former) NFL Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, the perfect “foil” (as in fencing with swords) for President Donald Trump to spew his venom against. For not playing by Trump’s regressive rules of mindless knee jerkism or so-called patriotism.
A year ago, this seemed like a “one off” after Mr. K, (allow me to substitute it for his longer name here), had the audacity to kneel during the National Anthem before NFL games to protest inequality and unfairness in American society and inspire other players to do so.
It was an opportunity Trump could not pass up to rile up his base. Forget the idea of Mr. K expressing his First Amendment rights. How dare he do so here in Trump’s America? DESTROY HIM said Trump!
Well, well, well, it has not happened even if Trump has been successful (sic) in getting the hypocrites who run the NFL and the duplicitous owners to ILLEGALLY STOP this talented quarterback from playing in the NFL.
As a result, Kaepernick has become a major SYMBOL – the anti-Trump- Kaepernick, representing the America most of us want to live in now and in the future; where are Constitutional RIGHTS are fully valued and protected and where inequality and unfairness are the enemy.
SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE! Nike, the biggest sports gear company on Earth, has signed Mr. K to a major contract, probably making him far more than playing in the NFL and elevating his global stature a SYMBOL by many times over, rivaling his and our nemesis, Donald Trump.
The point is, this CLASH is far from over. It is likely just beginning in tandem with the start of the NFL season on Thursday night, Sept. 6th. Trump and his side vs. Kaepernick and his side. A battle for the SOUL of America.
Here is the question no one else is asking …
What exactly is Colin Kaepernick’s potential as a SYMBOL and where should he focus attention to achieve maximum impact? Not knowing of course if his Nike contract restricts his activities.
First and foremost, Mr. K is already a symbol for each athlete’s rights to express their views on social issues within their constitutional rights and beyond the ability of their employer to restrict them. While it is specific to the NFL, it cannot be isolated from the more general rights that apply to all athletes and all sports – both professional and academic.
The federal law suit Colin Kaepernick has in progress against the NFL, contending they illegally conspired to prevent him from playing in the NFL, has huge potential based on its outcome, whenever that ruling is.
… A ruling against the NFL, which would then probably go all the way to the Supreme Court for a final ruling. If the conservative Supreme Court affirmed a ruling in Colin Kaepernick’s favor, it could be earth shaking in its implications, going far beyond Mr. K and the NFL.
To begin with, a lot of these weak kneed, (what a fabulous use of that phrase here), NFL players who will NOT kneel for FEAR of penalties or ending up like Colin Kaepernick, “might” have the courage to kneel during the national anthem or wear some symbol of protest on their uniforms or express themselves in other ways they will not now.
Colin Kaepernick himself would play the most powerful role as the SYMBOL if he wins his case. Will he have the COURAGE to ask his fellow NFL players to KNEEL following a favorable decision?
MUCH MORE TO THE POINT right now …
In the coming days, weeks and months and without any such Court ruling, will Colin Kaepernick have the COURAGE to speak out forcefully in favor of fairness and equality throughout sports in so many ways in which sports is REGRESSIVE and much like the way Trump thinks and acts?
There are many blatant examples but let me just mention two of the most egregious. First is the slave like condition college athletes must endure specifically in football and basketball; NOT being paid for their very,very valuable service while these colleges collectively gain BILLIONS of $$ from their athletic talent and hard work. IMAGINE Colin Kaepernick going from major university to major university speaking before packed crowds of college students at each, DEMANDING that college athletes be adequately compensated? Nothing in all of history would put more pressure on the NCAA and individual colleges to finally pay income producing athletes! But will Colin Kaepernick do so ?????
The other aspect of sports, both college and professional, where Colin Kaepernick could have a MAJOR impact is the continuing inferior status of women in sports, both on and off the playing field. IMAGINE Colin Kaepernick speaking out FORCEFULLY for EQUALITY in sports for all women. It would be game changing. Will Kaepernick do so????
Beyond sports and the issue of Trump vs. Kaepernick, as a campaigner AGAINST Trump and for anti-Trump candidates, Colin Kaepernick could be traveling the nation over the next two months, attracting and motivating more voters than anyone else. And the more that President Trump would attack him, so much the better!
But will Colin Kaepernick do so??????
Yes, you should have easily picked up a note of skepticism by now from me. Colin Kaepernick may be a very FLAWED SYMBOL, if still useful in a lesser role. I am particularly suspicious of that BIG Nike contract. Most of all Nike is a very profit-oriented company, which by the way, has been very hostile to women in its workplace as well documented recently.
While the theme of the Nike campaign with Colin Kaepernick is the defiant tag line JUST DO IT, I doubt there are not major restrictions on Colin Kaepernick built into his contract. If there is, Mr. K has the checkmate move if he will use it. Cancel his contract with Nike if they try to rein him in. That would be DISASTROUS for Nike!
Let’s s see what happens. Will Colin Kaepernick prove a “false prophet?” or will this be the HEAVYWEIGHT championship bout America needs ….
DONALD TRUMP vs. COLIN KAEPERNICK. Colin, go for the KO!
(This entire series is dedicated in honor of the late Liu Xiaobo)