ESPN’s The Undefeated invited Georgetown Sociology Professor and frequent MSNBC guest Michael Eric Dyson to write an article on Colin Kaepernick. Because, after all, what the heck is the difference between ESPN, Georgetown Professors, and MSNBC anyway?
In an article titled, “The Courage of Colin Kaepernick” (I’ll give you a minute to re-compose yourself) Dyson tells a tale of a brave, lonely athlete fighting the good fight:
“San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit, instead of stand, during the playing of the national anthem to protest injustice against black folk caused the predictable uproar. Despite the inevitable backlash, Kaepernick says he is “going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me, this is something that has to change, and when there’s significant change – and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way it’s supposed to – I’ll stand.”
For Kaepernick, no matter the unpopularity of his move or the cost to his career or endorsements, the need to underscore, and oppose, police brutality and racial injustice is so great that it’s worth the risk.
His gesture is no knee-jerk reaction, but a thoughtful reflection on how best to highlight the plague of injustice, and the need, finally, to hold our nation accountable for black death in the streets. “There are a lot things that are going on that are unjust,” Kaepernick said. He said that people aren’t being held accountable. “And that’s something that needs to change. That’s something that this country stands for freedom, liberty and justice for all. And it’s not happening for all right now.” Kaepernick insisted that he is “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Kaepernick has been accused of being unpatriotic, a traitor to the nation, a disruptive, self-aggrandizing narcissist, and a loathsome human being who disrespects the military. Kaepernick’s situation highlights just how little progress we’ve made in this country in confronting the brutal legacy of racism.”
Actually, Kaepernick’s situation, that of being the product of an interracial relationship, adopted into a white family, raised as a child of privilege, recruited by a white head coach in college, drafted by a white head coach in the NFL, replacing a white quarterback with the 49ers, and getting paid over a hundred million dollars by the white family who owns the 49ers, in addition to having suffered no disciplinary consequence for his protest, highlights just how much this country is not the apartheid-esque, racially oppressive state that Kaepernick and Michael Eric Dyson clearly believe it is.
Later in the piece, Dyson went on to try and define those who disagree with Kaepernick:
“The opposition to Kaepernick rests on a faulty premise and a confusion of terms: Many who oppose Kaepernick because of patriotism are really opposing him because of nationalism. There is a big difference between nationalism and patriotism. Nationalism is the uncritical celebration of one’s nation regardless of its moral or political virtue. It is summarized in the saying, “My country right or wrong.” If one has a problem with America, one is told to lump it or leave it, or to find another country that works better.”
Is Dyson seriously “lumping” Richard Sherman, Rodney Harrison, and Jerry Rice into the “lump it or leave it” group, whatever that means? All of whom oppose Kaepernick’s actions. Richard Sherman is hardy your typical right-wing nationalist. Dyson’s portrayal of Kaepernick’s opponents is a convenient fiction, only arrived at after determining that facts don’t matter.
Yet, because Dyson is in no way interested in truth, and instead only interested in using Kaepernick’s protest to fuel his leftist, race-centered agenda, he needs the lie to take root that Kaepernick’s opponents are all racist, white Trump voters. The fact is that Colin Kaepernick has unified Americans from Donald Trump all the way to Jerry Rice in opposition to him. Which is precisely the sign of an ineffective and counterproductive protest.
Dyson closes thusly:
“Kaepernick has bravely touched the third rail of American sport, one that we have not yet contended with, and the issue that we continue to deflect. When a black athlete bravely speaks up, we punish him. Kaepernick’s courageous action for the black people who are being slaughtered in the street should earn our thanks. But it should also inspire more of us, especially (black) American athletes, to stand up. Carolina Panther quarterback Cam Newton asked out loud who he was to say Kaepernick was either right or wrong. That may sound reasonable, even rational, but it is precisely the sort of noxious neutrality that reinforces bigotry. The status quo is always favored by neutrality, which, in truth, is never neutral at all, but supports those who stand against change. Newton may be superman on the field, but his response to Kaepernick’s cause of social justice has kryptonite written all over it. We don’t need dap on the field; we need to fight for all folk to get dap off it. The real heroes, the real supermen are those willing to take a stand, even if it means sitting in their seats while the national anthem plays.”
This is complete fiction. Kaepernick, much to my disappointment, has been in no way punished by the league. Or, by the 49ers. In fact, not only has he not been punished, his jersey sales have skyrocketed since he began his Anthem protest. Though, since this entire article could not have been written without the willing and eager abandonment of facts, it shouldn’t surprise that Dyson would write that Kaepernick has been greatly persecuted with no such evidence of said persecution.
However, no article from this dullard would be complete without a shot at Cam Newton, whom the left will now put in their crosshairs, since he is an infinitely bigger star than Kaepernick, and because he deigned to say that America was “past” racism. A notion that, if widely accepted, would directly imperil the existence of ESPN, The Undefeated, and of course, the career of Michael Eric Dyson.