Being a Follower is Not the Same as Being the Ring Leader

Photo Credit: "Follow the Leader," by Ashokboghani, Flickr

Two national anthem heroes during the 2016 National Football League season, Kenny Stills and Michael Thomas, were recently re-signed by the Miami Dolphins, and received raises to boot.  In the 265,748th article to offer an opinion on whether or not Colin Kaepernick is being  blackballed by the NFL, which is really like asking whether the city of Chicago and the Cubs were happy to have finally broken “The Curse,” and won the World Series, the Miami Herald makes a flawed analogy.  The article’s author, Adam Beasley, posits that Kaepernick’s unemployed state is most likely not a due to NFL collusion since other individuals who participated in national anthem protests, such as DeSean Jackson, Kenny Still, and Michael Thomas, also knelt during the national anthem and were not only employed, but received lucrative contracts. 

 Being a follower is not the same as being a leader.  The ability of someone to influence others is an immensely powerful characteristic; and when that ability is exercised in a way that is not in service to the powers that be or some other White People Approved™ venture such as commercial brand sponsorships, it becomes a threat.  This is especially so in the multi-billion dollar industry that is the NFL, with its overwhelmingly white fan base and its nearly 100% white ownership.  

 But what really placed this protest over the edge and sent racists into histrionics was the use of influence and a large platform to confront racism in America, laying bare this country’s hypocrisy and moral illegitimacy.  Kaepernick has, as has been said many times on this website, demonstrated that he does not know his place and must be made an example of lest the other slaves Blacks follow suit.  Therefore, Kaepernick is the primary target, not those who merely followed him.  As white America well knows in the examples of Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., and yes, even Malcolm X—if you cut off the head, you kill the body.