As I prepared for Super Bowl activities this past weekend, a sadness swept over me. Although the Chiefs were rivals to my hometown team, the Oakland Raiders that was not why. Because the 49ers were cross bay rivals when I lived in Oakland was not the reason why either.
A team that had the opportunity to stand with the principal of peaceful protest for the senseless repeated killing of Black people in this country by sworn “peace” officers, chose to turn their head and say, “this is not our issue.” Last month, we celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. One of Dr. King’s most repeated quotes states “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” It is too bad the NFL chose and still chooses the side of injustice. Yes, there was a settlement but the settlement was an injustice! Most of Kaepernick’s earnings from the settlement reached with the NFL went towards attorney fees. He still in not playing and we are still experiencing police profiling and brutality as if this was 1950!
Sunday, I attended “Favorite Jersey Day” at church followed by a Super Bowl Party. I proudly wore my number 7, Kaepernick T-shirt to both. I was excited to see another sister wearing a blinged out Kaepernick jersey to the party! The issue is so much more than a shirt though.
Perhaps you are celebrating your favorite team making it to the finals? Perhaps you are celebrating your team winning the Super Bowl? Maybe you are celebrating the victory of a young quarterback born in Tyler, Texas and attending school in Whitehouse, Texas? Perhaps you are celebrating Patrick Mahome’s being named the NFL MVP for this season at such a young age? If there is anything to celebrate in yesterday’s game, it is the fact that a young, smart and articulate Black man led the Kansas City Chiefs to their Super Bowl victory!
Although, we should not be happy about the NFL ’s decision to ignore justice I get some pleasure in the fact that the 49ers lost. I gain even more pleasure that the 49ers lost to a team led by an African American quarterback. Especially when Kaepernick led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2013!
The 49ers are a good team and we will probably see them in the playoffs for years to come. However, it is up to us to remember Kaepernick’s knee. In the words of Dr. King, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Thank you #7 for standing your ground and kneeling!