By Moses Kamuiru.
African American males are only 6% of the United States population, but comprise nearly 70% of the players in the National Football League. The NFL’s 32 teams earned around $12 billion in 2015 with merchandise sales over $1.55 billion. As for Colin Kaepernick’s contribution to league revenue, the 49ers quarterback had the 3rd highest selling jersey in 2014 and 7th most coveted jersey in 2015. You can still get your Colin Kaepernick jersey at NFLShop.com for $99; recent controversy won’t get in the way of NFL profits. Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up prior to a game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on November 1, 2015, in St. Louis, Missouri.
Racism and police brutality
Although the NFL is oblivious to this fact, the demographic linked to “15% percent of all deaths logged” also make up the majority of college and professional football players. Black men comprise 57-70 % of college football players and 70 % of NFL players and the vast majority are between the ages of 15 and 34), yet college and professional football remain silent on issues like racism, police brutality and the death of unarmed black citizens. Commissioner Roger Goodell earned $31.7 million in 2015; down from the $44.2 million he received in 2012. Although he’s happy making over $30 million dollars running a league where 7 out of 10 players are black, Goodell and the NFL have yet to publicize the life and death dilemmas affecting black citizens.
Death of unarmed blacks
It would be anyone’s assumption that a league comprised primarily of African American athletes would take a greater interest in the societal issues affecting its players. The NFL has never officially addressed the deaths of Sandra Bland, John Crawford, Freddie Gray and so many other unarmed African Americans citizens. Regarding the issue of race and this election, Kaepernick’s is correct in stating “You have Hillary who has called black teens or black kids super predators, you have Donald Trump who’s openly racist.” Also, it’s unfortunate that most of his critics ignore Colin Kaepernick when he says, “I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country.”
Moreover, Kaepernick is absolutely right in stating that America doesn’t treat its returning veterans in a just manner. In 2013, Paul Ryan defended cuts to military retiree benefits and 41 Republican Senators blocked a landmark veteran’s bill in 2014. As for learning the consequences of sending Americans to fight endless wars in the Middle East, Hillary Clinton in 2015 called for more U.S. ground troops to be sent back to war. Clinton is also advised by George W. Bush’s neoconservatives; from Iraq to Libya, the Democratic nominee is known for a hawkish foreign policy.
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Photo credits: Daily Norseman