It's time for Colin Kaepernick to be silenced!
When Kaepernick first started his protest of the National Anthem at professional football games to bring attention to black oppression, like many of my fellow Americans I was outraged and saddened. In my view, here is a man making millions of dollars for throwing a football around, while the very people giving him his freedom and protecting him (military and police) that he is badmouthing are making little money and many are losing their own lives in the process. However, there were a lot of people who backed Kaepernick, making the argument that his actions were the ultimate form of freedom of speech. This was indeed a valid argument and while I strongly disagreed with what he was doing, I certainly respected those who felt this way.
Then Donald Trump wins the Presidential election, and what does Kaepernick do, or rather not do? He angered many people when he says he didn't vote. He has no right to complain about how bad things are and then not take advantage of one of the fundamental rights he is entitled to as an American to bring about change.
Then this weekend, following the death of Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro, he does it again. Kaepernick shows up in Miami, a city with a very large Cuban community where most people consider Castro to have been a brutal oppressor, and makes comments that support the now-deceased dictator.
What have we learned about Kaepernick? He's a punk and taking advantage of his celebrity status to use the spotlight to bring attention to himself. He's simply using any political or social story he can to act like a fool and try and turn the spotlight on himself. What started out as someone who seemed genuinely concerned about making a statement over racial oppression has turned into a pathetic little punk who, from the losing streak his team is on, needs to be spending more time practicing what he's being paid a ridiculous sum of money to do, and less time being an outspoken fool.
According to Human Rights Watch, "Cuban citizens have been systematically deprived of their fundamental rights to free expression, privacy, association, assembly, movement, and due process of law. Tactics for enforcing political conformity have included police warnings, surveillance, short-term detentions, house arrests, travel restrictions, criminal prosecutions, and politically motivated dismissals from employment."
Yet despite all that we know about just how awful life has been for the Cuban people under Castro's rule, Kaepernick came to Miami and showed support for the former Cuban Dictator. That's no different than showing up at a Holocaust memorial and waving around a Nazi flag, or going to Pearl Harbor on December 7 and screaming out how you support the Imperial Japanese Navy. Give me a break. Does Kaepernick not think the Cuban people and the thousands who have died trying to flee Castro in little homemade boats for more than 60 years haven't suffered enough? They don't need this punk riding into the Cuban community, showing support for Castro and essentially insulting them to their faces. Apparently Kaepernick doesn't realize what oppression really means. It's pretty ironic that he claims to stand against black oppression, yet support someone who brought more oppression, hurt and torture to the Cuban people for so long.
As if none of this is bad enough, Kaepernick is someone who is supposed to be a role model. This is a guy who young kids and high school athletes look up to. Many kids don't know any better and are easily influenced. My hope is they don't see all the foolish things Kaepernick is doing and think that is how they should be acting, too.
Where is the NFL? Where is Commissioner Goodell? Where is 49er's Coach Kelly? It's time to come down on Kaepernick. It's time to put a stop to his nonsense. It's time to let him know that he needs to shut up, stop complaining, stop acting stupid, do his job or get out.
I hope we see a free and Democratic Cuba. I hope we see a world where people treat each other as people, where skin color, religion and anything else doesn't matter. But Colin "Punk" Kaepernick isn't helping, and he needs to stop trying to be a political pundit and acting like a fool. He needs to play football and shut up.