Colin Kaepernick does it again
Back in pre-COVID America, second-string NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick started one strategic arm of the social justice movement in the fall of 2016. At a televised NFL game, Kaepernick very publicly took a knee during the National Anthem at the start of an NFL game, claiming he was doing that to bring public attention to police misconduct. In doing so, the quarterback unleashed a tidal wave of controversy that quickly transcended football, but still hurt the NFL — primarily due to their inept handling of Kaepernick.
In another example, while a paid "adviser" to the company and the "face" of their Just Do It campaign, Kaepernick singlehandedly killed a Nike effort to show their support for the woke crowd with a new shoe design, costing the company a great deal of money even while it showed itself weak-willed and ineffectual. (As for me, from now on it will be Converse All-Stars.)
Eventually, and rather surprisingly, the NFL settled out of court with both Kaepernick and fellow kneeler Eric Reid. The size of the payout wasn't made public, but speculation put it well into the millions of dollars — a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of the ad revenue and fan exodus that burned the NFL post-Kaepernick. Notably, Kaepernick accepted the offer instead of continuing to lead the anti-NFL/anti-police movement he started. If he had really wanted to make a significant difference, there were many opportunities to do so, but being a retired millionaire wasn't one of them.
While this payout was certainly lucrative, Kaepernick quickly learned that his settlement ended his run as an effective change agent. With all the new social justice warriors, self-appointed spokespersons taking up media time with their demands surrounding the 2020 summer of protests and riots and violence, Kaepernick was "old news" — which gave him the incentive to once again find a way of making news.
Though he's no longer an active football player, Kaepernick again lashed out against the NFL — this time for the sin of actually trying to support Kaepernick and his Black Lives Matter cause.
"While the NFL runs propaganda about how they care about Black Life," Kaepernick tweeted this Sunday, "they are still actively blackballing Eric Reid for fighting for the Black community. Eric set 2 [sic] franchise records last year, and is one of the best defensive players in the league." Reid and Kaepernick played together for the 49ers in 2016, and Reid followed Kaepernick's lead in kneeling or squatting during the National Anthem. Though he had a strong season last year playing for the Carolina Panthers, Reid — a free agent — was not re-signed by that team, or by any other.
It sounded as if Kaepernick was attacking the NFL again in defense of Reid. But Reid is just an excuse — Kaepernick is looking to hold onto his power, to make himself relevant in a fast-changing world suddenly overrun by SJWs. Apparently, the rewarding financial settlement he made with the NFL last year threatened to make him less of a public thought leader and issues arbitrator. This could not be allowed because, since the first time he took a knee, Kaepernick had effectively leveraged the "fame" that this move gave him to become a voice to be reckoned with.
Kaepernick's attempt to return to his self-appointed leadership position at the NFL's expense offers a valuable lesson for corporations, teams, and individuals forced to deal with SJWs. You can't give in to them, for the simple reason that SJWs will never be satisfied. Why? Because their ability to find fault with you gives them power. If you "heal" their "wounds," they'll have no more power, and they know it. So whatever you do to accommodate them will inevitably force them to demand more from you. As long as they are publicly perceived as victims, the media (at least) will gang up on you. Better — certainly in the long run — to stand on your principles than to cave in to the SJW mob.
Image: Daniel Hartwig