Former NFL football quarterback Colin Kaepernick

Former NFL football quarterback Colin Kaepernick smiles on stage during W.E.B. Du Bois Medal ceremonies at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass., in 2018
(AP)

 

Column: Loathed and lauded, Kaepernick is the Ali of his generation

Sez Me …

Again, Kaep is on America’s head.

Colin Kaepernick is at once the most polarizing and influential Black athlete of the 21st century.

He is loathed and lauded. He is the Ali, the Smith and Carlos of his generation.

Above all, he is irresistible — and terribly misunderstood, likely to be misunderstood until Saint Peter calls roll, because too many of us don’t want to understand and, even if we do, won’t admit it.

I stand for the anthem. And, in that I’m too long of tooth to grovel, about the only place I kneel is in church.

It’s what I choose to do. I’ve seen drunken idiots at games — and bigger fools, such as Roseanne Barr — make a far bigger mockery of the anthem than what Kaepernick did silently on one knee (which was his right, and not desecration).

Judases/L.A. Lodgers tailback Justin Jackson says Kaepernick has been “justified” and doesn’t know if kneeling is necessary anymore.

It isn’t, but if you want to, go ahead.

Kaep probably didn’t know exactly what he was starting — a movement — when he took a knee during that fateful national anthem on Sept. 1, 2016. The NFL quarterback certainly couldn’t have known his message would be blurred beyond recognition.

He just had to do something.

Amazingly, genuflecting wasn’t even his idea. The 49ers QB wanted to sit during the anthem to protest police brutality and social injustice. It was Seahawks long snapper Nate Boyer, a White, former Army Green Beret, who advised him kneeling would have more of an effect.

And, yes, it did.

For many, however, it was sedition, and it’s not changing. The commander in chief says he’ll never buy another NFL ticket until they play football and stop dividing America.

Hard to say he’s ever purchased a ticket, and the NFL isn’t dividing America. But it isn’t providing many stitches to heal, either.

Kaep certainly hasn’t been able to educate enough people about his actions. Even Drew Brees, who should know better, had to apologize after misreading Kaep’s purpose.

And so it remains, as Colin’s name again was pushed front and center following the worldwide demonstrations protesting the death of George Floyd.

In his “Black Lives Matter” speech, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had to mention Kaepernick, but did not. Nor did he have a solution for his League, in which 70 percent of its players are Black, and has but three head coaches and two GMs of color.

Roger can’t be blamed for the entire enchilada in this oven. He’s an employee. Not many spineless owners — unsocial distancing their brains out — have spoken out on the demonstrations, and I’m sure what Goodell had to say — as timid as it was — wasn’t exactly a Gershwin tune to their ears.

They flat blackballed Kaep, and I seriously wonder if Colin might be better off if he never plays again. If he wants to — and if he’s allowed — he’s plenty good enough, better than a whole lot of quarterbacks getting paid.

But he wouldn’t be a starter right away, which puts him in a similar situation with Cam Newton. Why should he go somewhere and sit? He’s already been sitting for years.

If a team signs him, I hope it’s as player, not martyr.

The glow of his importance — which is immense — would not be dimmed if he played, played well, played poorly, or not at all.

With a simple genuflection, Colin Kaepernick unwittingly has risen and moved to the front of the bus with Rosa Parks.

No matter what you believe, he is a giant. ...

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Richard Sherman is one brilliant guy. ...

If owners aren’t loyal to players, why should players be loyal to owners? ...

People wonder why racism is a debate. It’s not. It’s non-debatable. The bigotry tumor inside of racists is inoperable. …

The NFL can’t come back under the COVID-19 rules it has established. It will come back. So the knots will be loosened. …

Steeelers OT Zack Banner says: “We should have a BLM sticker on our helmets.” If BLM becomes a corporate sponsor, there’s a chance. ...

Some NBA players — especially those on teams with no playoff chances — are hesitant to return. And they should be. ...

Know what’s more boring than the MLB Draft? All the other, longer baseball drafts. We have no idea who these kids are. …

The Dodgers drafted Louisville RHP Bobby Miller 29th overall. Never heard of him. But he will win multiple Cy Youngs and be a Hall of Famer. …

The great “Vinegar Bend” Mizell, describing a fire back home: “It started in the bathroom. Fortunately, we put it out before it reached the house.” …

We are living in an age where the brilliant voice of reason comes from Herman Munster. Look it up. ...

Stink O’ The Week Sezment: Unsynchronized traffic lights. Stupid, asinine, gas-guzzling stupidity the Ham & Eggers always promise to fix (of course it doesn’t matter to bicyclists, who don’t stop anyway). Do any politicians actually drive downtown? …

Brooks Koepka drops a clear F bomb on Golf Channel’s first golf telecast without fans. Wait for fanless football. Golf is like a Bible study class. …

But, not one idiotic “It’s in the hole.” ...

RIP, Ken Riley, a true Hall of Famer, who for insane reason unknown is not a Hall of Famer. ...

Think you’re safe from aging? Halle, oldest daughter of Tiffany and Philip Rivers, is going off to college. ...

Cosmetics can’t cover our zits. America is what it was. We can’t change the past by attempting to erase our history coloring book. It is drawn in indelible ink. …

Why don’t we change our name? The States certainly aren’t United. ...

If not for hate, Anne Frank could be alive today. She would have been 91 on Friday. …

Normandy is on my bucket list, and if not for COVID-19, I would have been there a few weeks ago, shedding more tears. …

The NCAA announces there will be no collegiate athletics on national election day. They’re leaving questionable exercising to the politicians. ...

It’s 2020, for heaven’s sake, and we can’t cast a ballot? Why not vote by raising hands? …

America is on the verge of shutting down again. Why? The virus came at the worst possible time, when our idiot population hit an all-time high. …

But Bicycle Mayor Faulconer has done a good job on our corner of America. ...

Our great zoo is reopening, which gives the animals a chance to study human behavior.

sezme.godfather@gmail.com

Twitter: @sdutCanepa

 

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