By Ray Hamill
Congratulations to Colin Kaepernick. He is now officially the most Googled “Colin” on the internet, having recently moved ahead of Mr. Firth, Jost, Hanks, Cowherd and Powell.
He’s also quite probably the least understood “Colin” of the bunch. Not to mention the most polarizing, the most inspiring, the most hated, and perhaps even the most genuine of them all.
Whether you love him or hate him – and for the record, if you hate him for what he’s done, it means you either don’t understand him or you’re a racist – one thing you can say about the man is he is not afraid to take a stand for something he believes in.
Even, ironically, if that means not actually standing.
And unlike most of the sheep too deaf or stubborn to hear what he is actually saying, or too blind or privileged to see the problem he’s attempting to bring to light, he’s not afraid to speak his mind for what he believes is the betterment of his country, and not afraid to back those beliefs with his own money, donating to several charities and worthy causes along the way.
He’s also not afraid to voice an original thought once in a while, something all of his critics combined have yet to manage between them in the more than 12 months they have been chastising him for his peaceful protest.
His stand, of course, has proven to be an extremely unpopular move among many – and one that currently has the country even more divided than before, if you can believe that – but that’s the whole point of taking a stand.
You guys do understand that, right? It’s not about agreeing with the status quo. It’s about trying to get a message across. It’s called taking a stand, not taking the easy way out.
Ironically, Kaepernick is one of the few players who didn’t take a knee before the games last week, because he doesn’t have a team to take a knee with any more.
Even considering his recent struggles as a player, he’s talented enough to currently start for a number of teams in the NFL, or at the very least be a better option as a back-up for many more.
But most owners (and fanbases) can’t see past the stand for social justice he has taken and who he is as a person.
He’s as different from them as buying a Kaepernick jersey is from burning one, and the bottom line is he isn’t a good enough quarterback for any of them to look past that.
(If only Tom Brady had the “inflated” balls to take a stand like that, the whole world would listen.)
Despite his unemployed status, Kaepernick’s presence is being felt today more than ever, and in an ironic twist he has the one man who criticized him more than anyone to thank for that.
As he tends to do, the master arsonist Trump threw some high-octane jet fuel on the fire when he opened his mouth at a rally last week, turning what was essentially a small insignificant little blaze into a raging wild fire sweeping uncontrollably across the nation.
And now, once again, all eyes will be on the protests when the NFL teams take to the field on Sunday in a story that has transcended the world of sports.
I have to wonder if Kaepernick had any idea just what he was starting when he decided to take his “seated stand” before a meaningless preseason game 14 months ago, and if he had any idea just how big a deal and socially divisive his stance would eventually become.
It’s a shame his message has been lost in the whole ordeal and the only thing most people want to talk about is his method of protest, but he certainly has gotten our attention.