The latest racially-inspired brouhaha comes from the world of NFL football and involves San Diego quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been busily explaining that his refusal to stand at games for the performance of the national anthem is his way of protesting the injustice delivered to African-Americans in the U.S. There’s no argument with his right to behave thusly.
The irony, of course, lies in the fact that he, like most professionals in the National Football League, as well as those on taxpayer-supported college/university campuses, have enjoyed inordinate largesse from their society, not deprivation or sport-related discrimination. Indeed, Kaepernick, a black who was born illegitimately (though such is glorified lately), abandoned by his father and given up for adoption by his mother, was raised by adoptive white parents.
The U.S. is about 73% white though soon it will be predominantly Latino, with blacks coming in third. This means that “reverse discrimination” is operative in professional sports, as well as on campuses, since sixty-seven percent of NFL football players are black. Seventy-four percent of National Basketball Association players are black. All twelve of the 2016 USA basketball Olympic champions were black…not one white player in that august body. There’s no social injustice in Kaepernick’s sport or in the NBA, either.
In the major baseball leagues (American, National), 29% of the players are Latino, many of them unable to speak or understand English. It’s doubtful that more than a handful, if that, are American citizens. Strangely, where once blacks had a large population of MLB players (19% or 27%, depending on standards used) they make up only 8% now, even though their skill-level has certainly not declined.
Perhaps this is explained by the fact that trash-talking, ridiculing opponents, taunting, writhing celebratory dances and other self-promoting juvenile activities introduced by black players a while back (and now adopted by many whites) are not seen in baseball games. These irksome elements are practiced throughout professional football and basketball games, where skills and athletic finesse have been replaced by head-hunting and body-slams in both sports.
Indeed, the New Orleans Saints coach was suspended for a whole season not long ago and some of his coaches also reprimanded for handing out “bounties” (cold cash) to players who inflicted opponents with injuries sufficient to necessitate their removal from games, sometimes trucked off to the nearest hospital. Like in the old Westerns, these monsters-in-pads were called “bounty hunters.”
Nor has Kaepernick suffered from financial constraints. His 2016 salary (including bonuses) will be $15,890,753, even though he may spend most of his time riding the bench or recovering from possible surgery, the better to be protected from concussions or other bone/organ traumas…and those headhunters, who, admittedly, have introduced him to periods on his back looking at stars floating by.
The average annual player-salary in the NBA, MLB and NFL, respectively, is $5.15 million, $3.2 million, and $1.9 million, not exactly chicken-feed. Not counting post-season play, the footballers play 16 games, the basketballers 84 games and the baseballers 162 games. They’re in the saddle for 7-8 months of the year, after which they can chill for a few months, though some baseball players may go home to places like Venezuela and Puerto Rico to play winter ball and visit family.
Suffice it to say that Kaepernick does not reference racial mistreatment in sports unless he is acting in behalf of white players who are in the distinct minority but not complaining if only because they would be accused of bigotry. Nor does he take note of the fact that by a vast majority white people have voted a black into the presidency during the last eight years.
Most likely, Kaepernick is caught up in the Black Lives Matter movement and is pointing the finger at mostly white policemen, never mind that blacks kill each other 95% of the time, especially in cities like Chicago, D.C., and Baltimore. If he were a person of official importance, his protest might mean something, but, just as in the case of other millionaire entertainers, it’s sound and fury signifying nothing...but ignorance.
And so it goes.