During his time with the retired NFL stars who broadcast the I Am Athlete podcast and YouTube channel, Colin Kaepernick said one reason the NFL should welcome him back after a six-year absence is because his views and the league’s views are aligned.
Former receiver Brandon Marshall, playing the role of an NFL general manager interviewing Kaepernick, wanted the former quarterback to state his case for and answer questions about returning to the league.
“What about our fan base? What do we say to our fan base?” Marshall asked, making reference to fan reaction to Kaepernick’s controversial history, which began in 2016 when he first took a knee during the national anthem.
“You have ‘End Racism’ in the back of your end zone,” Kaepernick answered. “You have Black Lives Matter on your helmets. Everything I’ve said should be in alignment with what you’re saying publicly…”
It’s true the NFL and parts of society at large have come to agree with some points Kaepernick made during his national anthem protests. But it’s also true Kaepernick has said some outrageous things that are either not true or simply impossible to agree with.
Kaepernick has shared some strong opinions about police and policing…
“The central intent of policing is to surveil, terrorize, capture, and kill marginalized populations, specifically Black folks.”
“The more that I have learned about the history and evolution of policing in the United States, the more I understand its roots in white supremacy and anti-Blackness.”
He said in September of 2020 he is in favor of abolishing police and the prison system:
“By abolishing policing and prisons, not only can we eliminate white supremacist establishments, but we can create space for budgets to be reinvested directly into communities to address mental health needs, homelessness and houselessness, access to education, and job creation as well as community-based methods of accountability.”
In his Netflix series, Kaepernick compared the NFL Combine to the slave trade of the 18th and 19th centuries.
“What they don’t want you to understand is what’s being established is a power dynamic,” Kaepernick said in the documentary. “Before they put you on the field, teams poke, prod, and examine you, searching for any defect that might affect your performance. No boundary respected. No dignity left intact.”
In January of 2020, Kaepernick likened the United States military strike that killed Iranian Quds Force leader Qasem Soliemani, an ally of the Russians, Syrians and Hezbollah, to “American terrorist attacks.”
“There is nothing new about American terrorist attacks against Black and Brown people for the expansion of American imperialism,” Kaepernick tweeted. “America has always sanctioned and besieged Black and Brown bodies both at home and abroad. America militarism is the weapon wielded by American imperialism, to enforce its policing and plundering of the non-white world.”
Kaepernick believes July 4th, which is Independence Day in America, is a “celebration of white supremacy” and said as much in 2020:
Black ppl have been dehumanized, brutalized, criminalized + terrorized by America for centuries, & are expected to join your commemoration of “independence”, while you enslaved our ancestors. We reject your celebration of white supremacy & look forward to liberation for all. ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/YCD2SYlgv4— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) July 4, 2020
Kaepernick, you’ll recall, was also triggered when Nike, the sneaker company that has paid him millions of dollars to be their spokesman, released the Betsy Ross sneaker in 2019.
Nike officially scraps release of Air Max 1 "Betsy Ross" after Colin Kaepernick's intervention. Last week, retailers were ordered by Nike to return the shoes. Pairs going for above $2,000…https://t.co/z3KeqE5eTk pic.twitter.com/VMLmca3jc9— Sneaker News (@SneakerNews) July 2, 2019
Nike pulled the sneaker with the Betsy Ross 13 original colonies American flag on it because Kaepernick said it was a symbol of racism at America’s founding and was also used by a current day white supremacist group.
And in 2016, Kaepernick infamously praised communist Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s educational and medical system in Cuba before playing in front of thousands of Cuban Americans against the Miami Dolphins in South Florida.
“One thing Fidel Castro did do is they have the highest literacy rate because they invest more in their education system than they do in their prison system, which we do not do here even though we’re fully capable of doing that.”
The United States, by the way, spent roughly $751 billion on education in 2019, the latest year available, and spends approximately $600 million per year on its prison system. But that’s not the point.
The greater point is if the NFL believes July 4th is a white supremacist holiday, then it is aligned with Kaepernick.
If the NFL believes the police — which every team in the league uses to escort teams on the road and maintain order at home games — should be abolished, then it’s aligned with Kaepernick.
If the league believes the United States is a terrorist actor and terrorist actors such as the commander of the Iranian Quds Force are martyrs, then it is aligned with Kaepernick.
And if the league believes its annual player Combine in Indianapolis is akin to a slave trade market, it is aligned with Kaepernick.
Otherwise, no, not aligned with Kaepernick.
Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero