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Blackballed QB Deserves Spot

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Colin Kaepernick being active in Black Lives Matter

Colin Kaepernick being active in Black Lives Matter

Colin Kaepernick being active in Black Lives Matter

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Colin Kaepernick, the should-be NFL quarterback currently sidelined for some “unknown reason,”  began his interests in African American history when he first entered college at the University of Nevada. He joined an African American fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi. Although he is half white, he feels connected to his African American Heritage and has spent his adult life developing his connection to his African American heritage.

It was not a spotlight-grabbing move, then, when Kaepernick, took a seat during the National Anthem in the first two preseason games when he was with the 49ers in 2016. He used his celebrity to focus national attention on police shootings and the issues of race that surround them. He gained national attention in the third game, in which he dressed. Supporters and critics fought back and forth with him and with each other as the season progressed, and as he continued kneeling.  Then other players began to kneel too. Not only football players, but  Megan Rapinoe, a female soccer player joined in and supported Kaepernick, as did some high school and college athletes. His decision has contributed to the phenomenon of athletes speaking up.

The season finished, and Kaepernick–like others–opted out of his contract. But unlike others, he has not been signed to a team, a curiosity given that he’s still considered a capable player.

Fellow players of the NFL have expressed their concerns. Michael Bennet of the Seattle Seahawks stated, “Obviously he is being blackballed. His decision to kneel rubbed some people the wrong way.” And Bennett is right. Kaepernick should have a roster spot somewhere. His protest is American; penalizing him for being outspoken is not.

At the end of the day, he is just taking a knee. The protest might be a minor distraction, and some fans will disagree with that. Teams argue that taking a chance on him is more risk than reward. Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy compared Kaepernick to Michael Vick, the infamous QB convicted of running fatal dog-fights.  It took him years before he was signed, but he was signed. The only viable comparison between Kaepernick and Vick is the distraction claim. But Vick did something wrong.  for the team and prevented teams from focusing on playing football. Colin K has sparked a whole stream of interest and people are wondering if his actions are being blackballed or if he is just too big of a distraction for the teams to sign him. Colin Kaepernick should not be where he is now. He should be on a team because he is not a distraction, and has had a better career than many other quarterbacks that have been signed.

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Keeping watch over student news at East Leyden High School
Blackballed QB Deserves Spot