NFL Playing Black National Anthem Before Games Means Nothing Without Colin Kaepernick On Sidelines To Hear It

Colin Kaepernick still hasn’t signed with an NFL team. Not only that, but unless somebody is keeping deeper secrets in the league than the combination of SpyGate, BountyGate and DeflateGate, he hasn’t had a tryout.

He hasn’t gotten an interview.

He hasn’t received a call, a text or an email.

Oh, and while 70% of NFL players are Black, the league still has only three Black head coaches and two Black general managers out of 32 teams.

So as we plunge into the Fourth of July weekend, celebrating freedom over oppression, don’t put chains around common sense by falling for the NFL’s latest football in the tailpipe.

It involves the league’s plans to have the Black national anthem called “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” played before “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to each game during Week 1.

Which means . . . nothing.

Forget that other stuff, too.

Let’s begin with that last point regarding footballs, tailpipes and “Are people that naive when it comes to the NFL?”

Essentially, those league officials are puffing out their chests over donating $25 million every year to the Black Lives Matter movement for a decade. Since the NFL made a record $16 billion last season, mostly from the backs, arms and legs of black players, you do the math.

Bottom line: This Black national anthem thing is window dressing from a league that is doing a lot of that these days.

In early June, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell responded to the request of a dozen star players such as Patrick Mahomes, the Black quarterback who won Super Bowl MVP honors earlier this year after taking his Kansas City Chiefs to victory. Those players wanted Goodell to condemn racism, among other things, and he announced he and the NFL owners were “wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all players to speak out and peacefully protest.”

Now it’s early July.

Oh, well.

Remember what I just wrote about NFL Black coaches and GMs?

As for Kaepernick, he’s the 32-year-old former NFL quarterback who took the San Francisco 49ers to two NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl trip, but he can’t get another job along those lines.

Kaepernick also is noted for something else: Personal integrity, regardless of the consequences.

Throughout the 2016 season, Kaepernick either sat or knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner” before games to bring attention to the racial horrors of Blacks throughout society. He was ripped by folks, ranging from league owners such as Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys to Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

Then Kaepernick was blackballed from the league. Those responsible for the cowardly move acknowledged as much during the spring of 2019 when the NFL settled a grievance with Kaepernick and Eric Reid, his partner in kneeling with the 49ers, for less than $10 million.

Settlement or not, Kaepernick became the face of a movement that has morphed into what it is now around the sports world: A collection of leagues, coaches and players sounding like Kaepernick did four years ago.

That’s good.

This would be better . . .

The sight of NFL officials applauding the sight of Kaepernick standing on the sidelines in uniform during the first week of the season for the Black national anthem, from “Lift every voice and sing” through the words “True to our God, true to our native land” . . .

And then seeing those same NFL officials applauding with Kaepernick dropping to a knee before hearing “Oh, say can you see.”

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