By Chuck Creekmur
I have not watched the National Football League at all this year and I am a devoutiii fan of the Philadelphia Eagles. The Birds are going to the Super Bowl this year (the first time in 13 years), but I stand in solidarity with those that uphold “what was on the paper,” as MLK said. The right to protest is a divine right and a principle that this nation was founded on. Do I want to talk trash to the dirty, stinkin’ fans of the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants? Sure I do! But I also want Colin Kaepernick to have the right to bring awareness to police brutality and injustice through peaceful protest more. Honestly, I am not sure where I will be with this boycott come next year. Most people don’t care. It may just be time to pop that blue pill and I don’t mean Viagra. If you don’t get it: I AM NOT WATCHING THE SUPER BOWL.
What has happened to the masses that started the NFL season out full of rage has turned into a boycott that would make Martin Luther King, Jr. go on a Twitter rant if he were here today. In another lifetime, people would stand side-by-side and hold hands singing a Negro spiritual in support of somebody Black being treated wrong. Not today. Today, people of color have willingingly allowed the “owners” in the NFL to claim the victory even if their team sucked pigskin juice like Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys. Remember when he told his bucks, I mean, boys they ‘BET NOT think of doing a “Kaepernick“? And they didn’t. They eventually did some sort of kneeling prayer to quell the boycott that really had picked up steam and impacted ratings. It was one of the most disingenuous acts I’ve ever seen.
I can’t lie.
I felt alone.My friends and fellow Eagles fans have bombarded me with texts and DM’s, cheering with gifs and messages. Honestly, if integrity and resolve were water, we’d all be dead of dehydration. Football is more important than Black lives, opposing police brutality and raging against racial injustice. I get it. We were unable to last a single season and stand with a man that just gave $1 million to various groups committed to working in the ‘hood. On top of that, he commandeered other celebrities to match his donations, which were given in increments of $10,000. People like Snoop Dogg, Serena Williams, Kevin Durant and others gave to those community organizations. For the record, All Lives Matter did not give anything whatsoever.
Maybe I am not alone.
I had to go to Google to see that Marc Lamont Hill, a scholar, businessman and die-hard Eagles fan like myself, was not watching the Super Bowl either. “Absolutely,” he responded. He told Newsday:“It wouldn’t be a protest if I only did it when it was easy. It’d be like a hunger strike right after you’ve eaten. Now is the test.” My brother Johnathan solidified what I already knew: we are red pill type of men. And if you do not know “The Matrix,” that means we refuse to ignore what is going on across the board. It can be quite annoying, but what would Tamir Rice, Jordan Davis, Sandra Bland, Aiyana Stanley-Jones and so many more people want me to do? What would they want us to do? I really enjoy football, as it is one of the few activities that take me out of the rat race, but I cannot care more about a game that serves mostly to line the pockets of ridiculously rich, White men. It also takes our eyes off the pain and the real prize.
Kaepernick is really just a high-end case of buck breaking. If you’ve never heard of the term, google it. In short, it comes from the days of Black enslavement where a rebellious African was brutalized in front of the other Africans and made into an example. The rebel was typically the biggest, baddest of man of those in captive and his decimation struck fear in those with less fire in the belly. Some pockets of rebellion still exist, as with The Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins, but most players have opted to fall in line and play ball.
Where does it all end?
I don’t really know, to be honest. There are times when I look at my life path and feel I should have just sold out for the money. And then, somebody will tell me something insanely profound like “AllHipHop saved my life.” Collectively and as individuals, “we” say (tweet, DM, IG) we want to improve the state of the country and the experience poor and disenfranchised people have, but then we fail to grab a surfboard and just ride the existing wave. It costs you nothing to not watch football. In fact, you could make money with that time.
I have nothing more to say really In closing. I just know that as a young man, I thought things would be better by now. I really hate racism. I really love football. But...I simply don’t love it more than my people.
No matter what, things will never be the same.
Go, Green. 🤢