Colin Kaepernick Is Being Punished Because He Took a Knee for Justice

It's strange to kick off a conversation on football by talking about justice, racism and the price of freedom.In this case, they're all intertwined, a sport laced with virtuous American ideals coming apart at the seams.But before we get into how the NFL is treating quarterback Colin Kaepernick -- let's take a look at the big picture. The sad reality is that those who stick their necks out for a righteous cause, no matter what line of work they're in, often pay a hefty price.Local historian and author Michael Phillips got a bitter dose of that reality recently when he received a death threat for leading the charge to remove Confederate monuments out of the public square in Dallas.Fighting for social justice can be so...unjust.But, as Phillips will tell you, what he's enduring is nothing new. Other contemporary and historic figures have risked their jobs, careers and lives advocating for justice and equality. The list of civil and human rights martyrs - some well-known, others unsung heroes -- are longer than any NFL roster, past or present.They go by the names of Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Henry Schwerner. They are the four innocent black girls killed in '63 when a bomb exploded while they waited to worship at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. God bless your souls, Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley.History, eventually, recognizes if not rewards those who've been trampled by inhumanity. And those who took it upon themselves to fight the good fight.Which brings us back to the NFL -- and its cunning ploy to keep rebel quarterback Colin Kaepernick out of the league's limelight or pummel him into submission.What did Kaepernick do to bring the wrath of the entire pigskin kingdom down on his head?He didn't shoot anybody, or beat anybody.All he did was take a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality against black Americans.For that conscientious act, the 29-year-old was blackballed and tagged a troublemaker. So less than five years after guiding his team to the Super Bowl, the ex-San Francisco 49er can't even land a backup role. Message sent.  Continue reading...

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