Colin Kaepernick’s Continued Unemployment is About Racism and You’re Dumb If You Don’t Notice It

In this “stick to sports” media economy we are currently living it, it can be quite easy to look at a sport like football and the NFL through a pragmatic lens and ignore the shit that should make you uncomfortable.

Kaepernick’s NFL workout, to the shock and surprise of exactly no one, was a total sham. It was a cobbled together half-measure foisted upon Kaepernick at the last moment for the expressed purpose of crafting a media narrative that better favored the brain dead “he’s not in the league because he is a Tim Tebow level jabroni who can’t throw a football without hitting and fatally wounding a small child” story that your prejudiced uncle squawks out every Sunday when you wonder aloud how and why Brandon Allen is a thing.

Kap dutifully played a long until the last minute, when the NFL attempted to make Kaepernick sign a bogus liability waiver that would’ve left him unable to sue the league for it’s continued collusion. They also wouldn’t let him film his own workout, and wouldn’t allow cameras. Kaepernick moved the workout to a local gym afterwards.

And thus it wasn’t shocking when the NFL’s Kabal of content and access starved “analyst” raked Kaepernick over the coals. Stephen A. crowed about Kap’s publicity stunt, conveniently forgetting the whole thing was staged by the NFL in the first place. A cottage industry has been birthed from people badmouthing Kaepernick for free. Saturday’s workout came and went exactly how the NFL wanted; with the NFL looking benevolent and Kaepernick looking like an unruly troublemaker unwilling to play by fundamentally unfair rules.

All the analysis of this from a football angle ignores one key point that few seem eager to want to talk about; all of this is racist as fuck.

Let’s set aside the fact that Kaepernick is at least as good as whoever the NFL’s worst back-up currently is. To get caught in a debate over the relative goodness of Kap on a football field is to fall into the NFL’s trap. The truth — that the NFL’,s rich, white ownership either tacitly agrees with Donald Trump’s assertion that Colin Kaepernick is a menace and that his mother is a bitch or at least doesn’t want to piss him off, all because Kaepernick had to the gall to maybe not want unarmed black people to continue to get shot by a police state that has zero accountability — is much harder to deal with.

Kaepernick’s continued unemployment is systemic racism. Period. It doesn’t matter how many Player’s Coalitions the NFL works with or how many rappers they want to bring in the fold, Kaepernick not being allowed to play football is about racism. Period. Let’s not pretend it’s anything else.

“You don’t want the circus!” well-meaning idiots cry. The notion that the NFL somehow wants *less* coverage of itself is bonkers. In the last twenty years, the NFL has gone through great strides to make sure football is never off of people’s minds. To say nothing of the regular season, playoffs, and Super Bowl, the NFL has.

1.) Turned a bunch of young men running and throwing in their underwear into a three day event where they are literally treated like commodities who’s stock can drop and raise on the power of a good or bad 40 time.

2.) Near endless draft coverage which features guys flying up and falling down draft boards so quickly you’d be forgiven for thinking you were watching the Tower of Terror in repeat.

3.) The draft itself, which is a three day event, followed by weeks of post draft coverage.

4.) A “legal tampering” period which serves as little more than a way to start free agency sooner.

5.) Round the clock updates of every OTA, minicamp, and training camp. Speaking of training camp…

6.) An entire HBO series devoted to training camp.

7.) Four meaningless preseason games fans have to pay full price to attend.

The NFL claiming it doesn’t want a circus is like Jim Spanfeller claiming he never meant to kill Deadspin and turn it into a bullshit content mill loaded with ads for-profit college ads; it’s a lie.

It’s not the circus; it’s the racism.

“No NFL team is going to hurt itself by not paying a good player, and Kap’s just not going enough”. The only thing the NFL hates more than peaceful protests of inequality are it’s players. Tune in for the Jets insisting an injured player wasn’t injured and then cutting him with the hope they wouldn’t have to pay him, stay for the Washington Deadskins ignoring that their best player had a cancerous growth on his scalp for 6 years, and then also trying not to pay him after he went public.

The NFL and it’s owners don’t care about winning. If that was the case, Dan Snyder would be banned from owning a franchise and teams like the Bengals would be relegated to NFL Europe.

They won’t sign Kap not because he’s not good enough to help them win, but because the entire institution is racist. They don’t like that Kap had them on the ropes. They don’t like that the black player embarrassed them in front of the country, and they don’t like that the President most of them voted for called them out on it.

Every criticism you can throw at Kaepernick — that he was always a better runner than a thrower, that he couldn’t read defenses, that he wasn’t accurate, that he was the product of a system rather than his own talents — is steeped is racial stereotypes of African-American quarterbacks. Every pearl clutcher crying out “HE WORE PIG SOCKS” is cow-towing to a system of white supremacy that demands that black people, particularly black men, show respect for the very same officers who have slain innocent people like Philando Castile and Tamir Rice.

Everyone who says that they respect Kap’s protest but that he shouldn’t have made his protest so visable is demanding silence from a black man on an issue that affects his community. Anyone who looks at Kaepernick’s continued unemployment through any lens other than “because the NFL and the United States are horribly racist” is either flat out wrong, lying to themselves, or both.

Kaep will remain unemployed because of racist reasons. The NFL partnered with the Player’s Coalition and Jay-Z not because of it’s own goodwill, but because giving and sharing money with black people is what white people figure will solve African-American’s problems.

Any discussion if Kaep’s relative worth as a player has to come secondary to these truths. If they don’t, then the wheels will continue to spin, Kaepernick will remain unemployed, and the NFL’s ownership will have successfully supressed discontent that the view as disagreeable. And that is bullshit.

So let’s all agree to stop feeding each other these lies, so maybe we can debate the issue on fair ground.


That’s what I figured.

About KC Complains A Lot 135 Articles
KC Complains A Lot is another refugee from Deadspin. He enjoys writing and not caving to pressure from herbs.


    • It’s not even close. Also, Peter King and Roger Goodell clearly prefer coneys to that weird-ass Skyline Chili.

    • The Lions will always get a pass because Barry Sanders is one of the few players that can remind me of how awesome football can be after reading more news about how shitty the NFL and it’s CHUD fan base are.

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