Ricardo A. Hazell
©2016, The Shadow League
Poverty, childhood illness, famine alleviation overseas and domestic violence have been causes that have been supported by NFL players and owners alike over the years. But the historic plight of African Americans has often been one that most in the National Football League would rather stick there heads in the sand and forget about.
We all can recall Cleveland Browns running back great Jim Brown speaking of the marginalization of Black folks in America, but for every Jim Brown, there were hundreds of other players who remained silent.
Back during the NFL preseason, when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first took a knee during the national anthem to protest the oppression of people of color in America, there were many who doubted the sincerity of the gesture.
To put it quite frankly, he was fronted on.
Though there were many white former players and coaches who expressed great consternation about what was deemed as disrespect for the flag, and there were also plenty of Black players that doubted his intentions as well. Most notable among them were former San Francisco 49’ers wide receiver great Jerry Rice.
Since those initial rumblings, things have calmed down a little bit. Colin is now starting at quarterback for the moribund Niners, who are struggling on defense.
But he is also taking his activism from words to action. During the 49ers most recent bye week, Colin began turning his words into something beyond words and is making them manifest on a ground level with a free youth clinic in Oakland called Know Your Rights. The program is aimed at teaching kids, many of whom are at risk of being swallowed up by The Machine, issues that could affect their quality of life indefinitely.
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