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What Would Former Olympian John Carlos Say to Colin Kaepernick?

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Published on: September 15, 2016

Young multi-millionaires in the NFL continue to parrot  2nd string quarterback of the San Francisco 49’ers Colin Kaepernick in sitting out or “taking a knee” during the playing of our national anthem.  Their misguided attempt to acknowledge America’s racist history and its symbols our national anthem and flag.

I find it particularly disturbing as a patriotic American who happens to be Black as it is completely founded on a false narrative driven by an ideology whose goal is to divide America. And there is plenty of data to squash the narrative.

According to Roland Fryer, an economics professor at Harvard University who analyzed more than 1,000 officers involved shootings across the country, there is zero evidence of racial bias in police shootings. He further found in Houston, TX that blacks were 24% less likely than whites to be shot by officers even though the suspects were armed and violent.  For your information, Fryer is Black and liberal.

The Washington Post’s Police Shootings Database and Federal Crime Statistics reports that 12% of all whites and Hispanics who die of homicides are killed by cops. Yet, by contrast, only 4% of all black homicides are killed by cops. I could fill several pages of this column with additional statistics that refute this false narrative.

These young men are passionately misinformed and will pay a price in prestige in the league and will suffer as they lose financial endorsement deals once those companies get a whiff of loss revenue from fans who stop buying products associated with those players.  In a league where the average career lifetime of a player is about 5 years or so, that loss revenue will come to haunt them once their playing days are over, and they end up in the real world working as insurance salesmen.

I received a rebuttal to my recent social media post on this topic by someone who stated,

“This is not new. Hippies in the 60s used to burn the flag. Athletes in the Olympics raised their fists in protest. Now we have new athletes kneeling on the national anthem. Who thinks this is new and an outrage?” 

My response to that rebuttal is, yes it is not new. Yet in the case of the athletes who raised a clenched fist with a black glove at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, one Tommy Smith and John Carlos. There was a huge uproar from the populace and both those athletes paid a tremendous price financially and socially for their form of protest.  I had the pleasure of meeting John Carlos through a mutual friend some years ago. He’s an engaging and hysterically funny gentleman with plenty of stories from back during his days as a premiere athlete. But you just knew the time reflecting back was bittersweet.

The 1960’s was a turbulent racially charged time in America. But to compare it to today is to compare apples to potatoes.  They are both somewhat round, but that is the only relative comparison. A second string quarterback who happens to be black makes $12 million dollars a year while riding the bench.  Yet, he has the nerve to reject, in protest, the symbols, and traditions of the very nation that allows him to make said $12 million a year. And those dollars come from patrons who are overwhelmingly white no less.  A protest led by him and other passionately misinformed young men that is based solely on a false narrative that would say nothing has changed since the 1960’s. If I were John Carlos I would slap Kaepernick, and the rest of this naïve, history challenged, and police data statistically deficient, elite millionaire athletes in the back of the head and say, “Snap out of it! You are being manipulated! You are playing with your future. And all based on a lie!”

Colin Kaepernick needs to stop listening to that hot “Black Lives Matter” loving girlfriend of his, pick up a history book, check out the latest FBI data on police departments nationally and then go home and apologize to his parents and family who love him dearly.  I think he’s trying to find himself. But he only needs to look to those who took him in and loved and raised him as their own, his momma and daddy. That is his true identity.  Who cares if they can’t grow giant afros?

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