Kaepernick Stood Up for Those Who Did Not Survive Police Encounters – Part 1
According to the Vice, “black males are only six percent of United States population, but comprise nearly 70 percent of the players in the National Football League”. Also, black males make up 57 – 70 percent of college football players. For the two mega football entities the vast majority of the black males are between the ages of 17 and 34. Why is this important?
According to the 2015 and 2016 data, the vast majority of blacks killed by the police were between the ages of 18 to 29. It is also important to highlight that up to 30 percent of those killed by the police are unarmed. And in a research article done by criminologist, Dr. Justin Nix, A Birds Eye View of Civilians Killed by Police in 2015, he writes, “The only thing that was significant in predicting whether someone shot and killed by the police was unarmed was whether or not they were black, … crime variables did not matter in terms of predicting whether the person killed was unarmed”. More succinctly, black males who make up only six percent of the nation’s population – account for 40 percent of the unarmed people who were fatally shot in by the police in 2015.
Let me also add that according to the Guardian newspaper, “young black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers in 2015”. We truly have a national crisis.
While Black males are bearing the brunt of this American crisis before anyone gets too comfortable it is important to highlight that roughly fifty percent of those who are unarmed and killed by the police are white. Admittedly, America’s law enforcement community faces a more armed citizenry as evidence by the fact that 1 in 5 of those killed by the police in 2015 were firing shots back at officers. Nevertheless, our law enforcement organizations kill more people than other industrialized country on earth.
Back to Colin Kaepernick. The question really becomes why aren’t other professional athletes standing up, bowing down or speaking up about police interactions?
Kaepernick’s selfless act gave the NFL the opportunity to act and form partnerships in an attempt to save not just black lives but all lives.
The NFL chose to exclude Kaepernick for standing up against moral crisis of black males being killed by the police. By the way, according to government and private data black males do not commit the majority of violent crimes.
On the up side, the NFL has shown that they have been able to support players who have had legal challenges ranging from property crimes to violent crimes to public order crimes.
However, it begs the question, why are they not supporting an upstanding player who simply stood up for justice and righteousness?
I know Kaepernick was not the same star player that he was when he started the NFL. But, of the 81 rostered quarter backs on the NFL teams in Week 1 Kaepernick’s stats suggest that he has at least 50% of those quarterback beat. In fact, Kaepernick ranks number 6 in all time least interceptions thrown in the history of the NFL.
The NFL leadership has allowed all the owners (none of who are black or have blacks who are CEOs in their organizations) to exclude Kaepernick because he stood up for an issue that appears not impact their children who do not look like Kaepernick.
In my next article. I will give you the 3 reasons why we should support the black out of the NFL.