Kaepernick Still Without Work

I’ll start by saying that I don’t like disrespect for national anthems or the flag, but at the same time, opposing opinions should be respected, as they are personal statements and everyone is free to think what he wants.

It also goes without saying that I’m even less in agreement with the president of the United States, Donald Trump, but it must be acknowledged that, finally, he has achieved consensus: His terrible speech in Alabama led to a solitary and almost absolute reaction by the most American of sports: football. Everyone turned their backs on him. Everyone had to know that he was wrong; everyone sent him the message that leading a country (and we’re talking about the most powerful country in the world) has nothing to do with watching a reality show.

People have said time and again that he is the president, not “THEIR president” — that he holds the highest office but he doesn’t represent them.

This subject will have many chapters on both sides, of that I’m sure.

But let’s go back to the beginning, Aug. 27, 2016, when Colin Kaepernick, then quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, remained seated on the bench while the national anthem was sung. He did it as a way of protesting the killing of many African-American citizens by the police. “I’m not going to show pride in a flag that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said.

The following week he took a knee during the national anthem, an action that was replicated by many other players.

It was an uncomfortable and touchy subject, and surprisingly, the quarterback remained without work the following season. And while he certainly isn’t one of the best players in the league, it’s also true that many teams which would have recruited him decided not to for reasons more political than sports-like.

That seemed to be the end of the story. However, last Sunday delivered one of the story’s most intense chapters.

There was a global protest, convincing displays of rejection toward Trump, but only one thing hasn’t changed: Kaepernick remains unemployed.

What then? Did he stop being the villain? Was he right? Did his protest have more depth than it seemed? How should we read this new posture? It is very clear that those who protested last Sunday won’t refrain from playing next season, right?

The system punished Kaepernick…and now what?

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