This Huffington Post contributor is clearly distraught over this entire Colin Kaepernick situation as evidenced in his piece, subtly entitled, “Colin Kaepernick is a Punk Who Needs to be Silenced.” Steve Siebold laments “[w]here 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.” Siebold is upset, not with the national anthem protests, he asserts, but with Kaepernick’s comments on recently deceased former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
In other words, rebellious slave Kaepernick is acting up on the plantation, and master Roger Goodell needs to get him under control.
As an aside, this sentiment that Black men need to be controlled by a strong white hand is one that is rather frequently heard, albeit indirectly, amongst many white people who comment on professional sports—basketball and football in particular with their approximately 70% Black player compositions. It was Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots tight end (edit: Bennett is now a Greenbay Packer), who quite insightfully noted that NFL stands for “Niggas For Lease.”
Siebold quotes a Human Rights Watch report regarding injustices suffered by Cubans under Fidel Castro in support of his faux-concern. First, Colin Kaepernick did not in any way, shape, or form praise any mistreatment of Cubans. This is more manufactured outrage over a shirt Kaepernick wore months ago, whose content about which he was asked in a media teleconference prior to the November 27, 2016 game against the Miami Dolphins. Second, and actually relevant to this conversation, here is what Human Rights Watch had to say about the treatment of Blacks in America in its 2016 Annual Review:
Racial disparities permeate every part of the US criminal justice system. Disparities in drug enforcement are particularly egregious. While whites and African Americans engage in drug offenses at comparable rates, African Americans are arrested, prosecuted, and incarcerated for drug offenses at much higher rates. African Americans are only 13 percent of the US population, but make up 29 percent of all drug arrests. Black men are incarcerated at six times the rate of white men. A US Department of Justice report on the police department of Ferguson, Missouri, commissioned after the 2014 police killing of unarmed African American teenager Michael Brown, found that African Americans were disproportionately impacted at all levels of Ferguson’s justice system—a problem that persists in justice systems throughout the country.
I must have missed the outrage by Siebold about these human rights violations. Siebold’s entire article is a transparent attempt to demonize Kaepernick under the guise of pearl clutching concern over out of context comments regarding another country’s deceased former leader.
Deflection/Derailment Tactic Number 6, ladies and gentlemen.