We can’t hear Colin Kaepernick any more. He’s being drowned out by noise

The quarterback ignited a storm by kneeling during the national anthem. He wanted to communicate a message but, sadly, many still refuse to hear it.

Colin Kaepernick is everywhere. Like an icon, he is freeze-framed stoically kneeling for everyone to see. We see his image on stickers, T-shirts, graffiti and posters. It’s on magazine covers, television shows and social media sites. Oddly, the more we see Kaepernick’s likeness, the less we hear his message.
Colin Kaepernick first kneeled during a pre-game national anthem in 2016. His reasoning was simple: “[I’m] not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
To Kaepernick his protest was: “bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
He was referring to the fact that many police officers involved in high-profile killings of black people do so with apparent impunity. The killers of Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling, Eric Garner, Terrence Crutcher, Philando Castile and Freddie Gray (to sadly name a few) have all gone unpunished. They either were acquitted or, even worse, were never charged with a crime at all.
His message is being slowly erased

That is what Kaepernick wants to talk about. Instead, his message is being slowly erased. Some want to make Kaepernick’s protest all about Trump. Others want to ignore what he is saying completely and shift the conversation to patriotism, the military and respect for the flag.
The NFL – the same league that now treats Kaepernick like a castaway – is in on the game, too. After Trump’s admonishment of the sports league, some higher-ups tried to turn the kneel into a symbol of unity among players, coachers and owners. It became a protest against, not the politics of the president, but the fact that he criticized the NFL.
That isn’t what this is about.
I’ve known Kaepernick as a friend for some time now, and I can see how his intentions surrounding the protest are being ignored.
Kaepernick used lucid language to articulate his mission when he said: “This [protest] is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”
This reminds me of something Franz Fanon poignantly wrote in The Wretched of The Earth, his groundbreaking text on race and colonialism: “Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it, in relative opacity.” Colin doesn’t just want to fulfill his mission. He has made his mind up to never betray it.
 Remember this about Donald Trump. He knows the depths of American bigotry

Gary Younge

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When Donald Trump was busy threatening to cut the budget for Meals on Wheels, a program that provides meals to older impoverished Americans, Colin Kaepernick was donating $50,000 to their program.
As Trump was signing an executive order to push forward the intensely disputed Dakota Access pipeline, Kaepernick was donating another $50,000 to desperately needed health clinics at Standing Rock.
When Trump was talking about repealing the Deferred Action of Child Arrivals policy, which protected migrants who came to America as children, Kaepernick was donating $25,000 to United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation. 
Kaepernick was the architect of this protest

During Trump’s tirade about the un-patriotic nature of Kaepernick’s taking a knee, he forgets that Kaepernick donated $25,000 towards paying rent for US veterans facing eviction, and providing employment training programs for people who served in military uniform.
We need to eliminate the noise. We need to listen to what Colin Kaepernick is saying, pay attention to what he is actually doing, and why.
As he put it himself: “This stand wasn’t for me. This [protest] is because I’m seeing things happen to people that don’t have a voice. People that don’t have a platform to talk and have their voices heard and effect change. I’m in a position where I can do that, and I’m going to do that for people that can’t.”
That’s why, as this protest gathers steam, its important to know what this kneel is about – and what it isn’t about.
Kaepernick was the architect of this protest. He was candid with his convictions, and clear with his vision. He could not take it any more. He wanted to talk about black lives being crushed by law enforcement. He wanted to bring attention to the many tentacles of systemic oppression. Kaepernick has been true to his message.
The question is: have we been true to it too?


Aaron Rodgers points out the hypocrisy surrounding this wave of protests during the national anthem

In the wake of Donald Trump’s recent comments, Aaron Rodgers is speaking out for equality. Speaking at a rally last Friday, Trump lashed out at players who kneel during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” calling them “sons of (expletive)” and campaigning for them to be fired. Trump’s message sparked reaction from countless NFL players, including Rodgers, who shared a message of unity prior to the Green Bay Packers’ Week 3 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. But Rodgers’ advocacy didn’t stop at a social media post. During the playing of the national anthem this past Sunday, the Packers quarterback locked arms with his teammates, which was a common theme among NFL teams over the weekend, as well as kneeling players. 
Players who have used the anthem as a platform for protest have received a helping of backlash, which Rodgers surely expected. But in an Instagram photo shared Tuesday, the two-time NFL MVP is asking for those opposed to protests during the anthem to be consistent with their criticism.

Don’t expect Rodgers to stick to sports. The star quarterback understands his platform, and he’s going to continue to strive for the change he sees fit, whether you like it or not.

Ben Roethlisberger explains why Steelers stayed in locker room for national anthem

NFL teams around the league waged protests during the national anthem Sunday in response to incendiary remarks from President Trump, who said this at a rally on Friday night: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!”Some players knelt during the anthem, others stood with arms locked, while others, like the Steelers, remained in the locker room during the anthem.

Here’s how Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisbergerexplained the decision after the team’s overtime loss in Chicago.

“By no means, by no way shape or form, was there any disrespect intended towards our troops and those who serve this country,” he said, via ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler. “We all have the utmost respect for them, obviously. They give us the freedom to play this game.

“Last night, obviously, with all the issues going on if you will, we had a players-only meeting after the team meeting … we decided we were going to talk about what we were going to do because we knew some guys wanted to take a knee, guys wanted to stand. We said whatever we do, we need to make sure we are unified as one group because that is what we are about and that is what it should be about. Staying together as one unit, one group, one brotherhood, things like that. 

“So rather than having one guy kneel, one guy stand, the conclusion was made by everybody that the best thing to do was to stay in the locker room (or in the tunnel, if you will) and show respect that way.”

One Steelers player wasn’t in the locker room during the anthem; starting left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, who was an Army Ranger before joining the NFL, stood just outside the player’s tunnel at Soldier Field.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin weighed in on the matter before the game.

“You know, these are very divisive times for our country and for us as a football team it’s about us remaining solid. We’re not going to be divided by anything said by anyone,” Tomlin told CBS Sports’ Jamie Erdahl. … “[I told our players] if you feel the need to do anything I’m going to be supportive of that — as Americans you have that right. But whatever we do we’re going to do 100 percent, we’re going to do together. We’re not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda.”

On Saturday, Steelers president Art Rooney II issued this statement:

“I believe the commissioner made an appropriate statement and I have nothing to add at this time.”

And here are Roger Goodell’s remarks from earlier Saturday:

“The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month. Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.” 

The Steelers were one of three teams — along with the Seahawks and Titans — to stay in the locker room during the anthem.

Texans’ Brian Cushing Suspended 10 Games for Violating League’s PED Policy

Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing has been suspended 10 games without pay by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances, the team announced.

This marks Cushing’s second positive test for performance enhancing drugs after testing positive for human chorionic gonadotropin (a fertility drug) as a rookie in 2010. He was suspended for the first four games of the 2011 season.
The suspension begins immediately. He will be eligible to return to the active roster on November 28 after the team’s game against the Baltimore Ravens on November 27.
Cushing suffered a concussion during Sunday’s Week 1 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was ruled out of Thursday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals due to the injury.