Is Colin Kaepernick Being Blackballed by the NFL & Should Blacks Boycott the League
There is a question that is popping up consistently in the black community: Is Colin Kaepernick Being Blackballed by the NFL & Should Blacks Boycott the League?
First of all, allow me to start out by commended Colin Kaepernick for taking the stand that he took last season. While I believe that it was more about a personal journey for him, than it was about creating any real footing or progress for the Black collective, I still applaud it. Far too many of our Black celebrities that enjoy a ready-made platform forego the opportunity to speak on issues that impact the Black collective. Many take the approach that they have made it out of the struggle, and they are not willing to risk what they have fought so hard for to take on any type of cause. Colin Kaepernick new that there would be consequences for his actions, and he took them anyway, and now he is suffering those consequences.
To answer the first part of the question, yes, Colin Kaepernick is being blackballed by the NFL in a manner in that discourages teams from signing him. What we must be willing to examine here is the unique dynamic that professional sports present. Most professional sports are dominated by Black athletes at almost every position, except for quarterback in the NFL, and that is changing rapidly. But despite the sport being dominated by Black athletes, it is ruled by a predominantly White ownership. Furthermore, the fans that buy tickets and spend millions on NFL products are non-Black.
It is just another situation in which Blacks are a non-participatory commodity. We are providing value that is being distributed disproportionately in comparison to contribution. Without Black athletes, most sports would be watered down and substandard in comparison to the current products that are being placed on the floor, courts, fields, etc. Yet, the Black athletes only share a very small portion of the wealth being generated.
As far as whether or not Blacks should boycott the NFL, that is not as straightforward of a concept as it may seem. As I just pointed out, Black athletes make up a substantial portion of NFL rosters, so the power to create change in the league must come from the position of power and leverage held by the group that desires to see change.
Is Colin Kaepernick being blackballed by the NFL? Absolutely. Is boycotting the league the best response to this fact? I don’t think so. I don’t think that we can make the impact that the players can make. The problem is that we, as a race, have not displayed the ability or willingness to come together on such a massive scale, but if we could somehow find a way to do so, the implications would be massive. ~ Rick Wallace, Ph.D., Psy.D.
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