Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Send Letter to NFL Concerning Colin Kaepernick
On last night one of my business partners sent me a letter, an official letter penned by Thomas L. Battles, Jr., the Grand Polemarch of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. You can see the letter in its entirety at the bottome of the page! The intent of the letter was to speak in defense and representation of one of its members, Colin Kaepernick.
This letter comes at a time when the fraternity has received its own heat due to accusations that it does not do a good enough job representing and supporting its own members.
After reading the letter, I immediately contacted a number of members of the fraternity that I work closely with to discuss the content of the letter. Surprisingly, each one I spoke to was significantly critical of the letter. They did not believe that it went far enough or demanded enough from the league to be considered significant.
I must say that I agree. The initial part of the letter is somewhat pacifying, calling the NFL the greatest spectator sport on the earth. Something I feel was far too political in a moment that a clear and definite message needed to be sent.
The Middle part of the message was introducing the history and mission of Kappa Alpha Psi and what it stands for, which again is far too political in a moment in which you need to be direct.
Of the four paragraphs that comprise the letter, on the last one spoke of consequences, and these consequences were addressed indirectly — not really specifying the role that the fraternity would be playing in a Boycott of the league, its partners, and sponsors. The letter made it clear that these consequences were a possibility, along with other disruptions and distractions throughout the season. It warned of unrest and increasing disquietude and the season progressed and teams flounder due to low productivity at the QB position when superior talent is available.
While applauding the act in general, I am disappointed by the lack of assertiveness and direct revelation. This is definitely a step in the right direction, but we need more groups, fraternities, sororities companies, schools, religious institutions to send collective messages to the league that we will take direct action in way of economic sanction, political disruption, and structural organization. We should be demanding Black ownership as a priority. We should be demanding better retirement packages and the necessary medical and psychological support that is integral for transitioning out of a sport that sees 72 percent of its players experience financial hardship with 2.5 years after retirement.
There is so much that should have been in that letter, but again, it is a start. The thing now is how many will follow suit and how firm of a stance will they take? ~ Rick Wallace, Ph.D., Psy.D.
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