America's two most liberal newspapers each ran lengthy features on Colin Kaepernick Thursday. Kent Babb's story in the Washington Post quotes an anonymous NFL owner saying no team wants his distraction. John Branch's New York Times' story details how Kaepernick morphed from a mild-mannered tweeter of motivational quotes into a notorious activist.
There are numerous parallels in the two stories. Both describe the former football player as introverted, conscientious, a good student and star athlete who wasn't fully accepted by Blacks or Whites. Babb calls him "a lifelong resident of the in-between — not exactly a football player and not quite an activist," and "a biracial man who grew up in a white family, a child of privilege who became a warrior for social justice, an introspective soul who couldn’t resist his callings to the most public stages."
The "not quite an activist" tag is laughable. Kaepernick is an all-out, fully "woke," committed activist who calls America oppressive and police officers racist pigs and slave chasers.
Both writers recognized those who call Kaepernick "polarizing," and Babb adds his national anthem protest could cost him his player career. The Post writer also quoted an anonymous NFL team owner saying, "No one wants to deal with that. ... “No one wants the nonsense or the [B.S.] . . . It’s not collusion, it’s common sense. ”
Both stories dealt with Kaepernick attending lectures by a Cal-Berkeley professor. His connection was a new girlfriend -- Nessa Diab, a Black Lives Matter activist, MTV personality. She "had a measure of influence on Kaepernick’s views over the past two years," Branch says in an understatement.
As Kaepernick grew more enraged at police, his game deteriorated and the Niners collapsed. In 2016, Kaepernick began protesting the anthem in preseason. He regained the starting job six games into the season and went 1-10. He played out his option after the season and remains an unwanted free agent. Commenting on the police conflicts around the nation, his social media rants took on a very angry, militant tone, decrying "lynchings" and "slave patrol" cops.
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Kaepernick's stance is now "a heated rallying cry on both sides of the political aisle," Babb writes. "Kaepernick is more than just an athlete these days; he is a symbol and a dramatic example, either the second coming of Muhammad Ali ... or a spoiled athlete who refused to stick to sports and oblige a culture that allowed him three years ago to sign a $126 million contract."
Babb credits Kaepernick for "giving life to a movement," but adds "he has not always done it gracefully. Last year he wore socks featuring cartoon pigs wearing police uniforms, and he was criticized for wearing a T-shirt picturing Fidel Castro, the former Cuban dictator, during a postgame news conference."
Like most in the Left-stream media, Babb makes much of Kaepernick's charitable contributions "to organizations fighting oppression." But one of those recipients is an abortion business ending the lives of unborn children.
Branch chastises the NFL owners who passed on Kaepernick in the offseason:
The N.F.L. and its 32 franchise owners, none of them African-American, may be the most conservative fraternity of leaders in major American sports. They bathe their games in overtly patriotic ceremonies and discourage players, mostly hidden behind masks and uniforms of armor, from individual acts of showmanship. At least seven donated $1 million or more to Trump’s inaugural committee, far more than any other sport’s owners.
Branch's story also includes a quote from Wade Davis, a former professional football player and a black activist. “What Kaepernick did was disrupt one of our most treasured sports. ... The larger conversation is what he is protesting about. The fact that so many don’t want to have that specific conversation speaks to the fact that they know what is happening in America is beyond tragic.”
The NYT story also made much of Kaepernick's “Know Your Rights” children's camps for training young social justice warriors. The goal is to raise awareness on higher education, self empowerment and instruction to calmly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios. The message isn't getting through to everyone though.
Kaepernick's good friend, the Seattle Seahawks' defensive end Michael Bennett, reported he had recently been the victim of racial profiling in Las Vegas. Responding to a call about a shooting at casino, Latino police officers saw Bennett -- not acting calmly around police -- but running and hiding from them. He was handcuffed and detained for 10 minutes and is now threatening to sue. The police said they acted constitutionally.
Kaepernick's "movement" isn't growing, as evidenced by what happened around the NFL today. Just five players kneeled or sat for the national anthem, including: Eric Reid, 49ers; Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, Seahawks; Marcus Peters, Chiefs; Marshawn Lynch, Raiders. Three players stood with a raised fist: Harold Jenkins, Eagles; Martellus Bennett, Packers; and Robert Quinn, Rams.
Ha Ha Clinton Dix of the Packers helped hold up a giant flag on the field, while the Cleveland Browns ran out on the field with police, EMTs, fire fighters and members of the military.