We see you and we commend you for the courage to use your platform to protest against racial inequalities and social justice. We stand behind you as you look at things that are much bigger than the game of football.
You have spoken up for things other athletes dared not to speak about, until you took the first step, rather the first knee. The NFL wants your arm, your talent, and your extraordinary athleticism, but they don’t want your platform, or your voice. Your talents have been dormant for three years and your recent workout showcases that you are still the quarterback everyone adored–the quarterback that was just a couple of points shy of winning a Super Bowl title.
So, what do you have to prove?
You’ve been railroaded by an organization that profits off athletes of color, seeing them as economic commodities and puppets. Why continue to subject yourself to this treatment and affiliate yourself with those that see dollar signs when they look at you, or see an angry Black man seeking attention when they look you in your face?
They can reduce you to dollar signs and a football machine, but we see you for what you are–a social justice warrior that will sacrifice his love for the game of football and his career to stand up for what he believes in.
Look at it like this. When you constantly throw the ball to a teammate hoping that he’ll catch it and he fails you over and over again, what do you do? You look for alternatives. You switch up your game. You move on to another player, right? Kaep, it’s time for you to move on. The NFL has failed you plenty of times, but here’s the thing: Everything happens for a reason. You’ve spent six seasons playing the game you love, but that wasn’t your calling for the rest of your life. You have something special–the ability, the bravery, and the platform to speak up for the things you believe in and the things you disagree with. Use it, but not with an organization that doesn’t respect your values, their athletes, nor understands what their players of color go through.
As one door closes, another one always opens. Walk through it and keep thriving!
By Jada Daniel, Freshman, Beloit College