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Colin Kaepernick
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Gee: Kaepernick supporters need to know what they’re supporting

Colin Kaepernick. (Getty Images)

Yesterday a friend on Facebook said something interesting.

Gee: I wonder what it was like for a black man in the media in…

“Either (Colin Kaepernick is going to) do what it takes to get back in the NFL or just take that settlement check they gave him, and go full fledge civil rights activist,” he wrote. “I’m riding with him either way. But he needs to let us know what we riding for.”

I’d like to thank him, because I believe so many want to know the plan.

Hey Kaep, so, what’s the plan? Folks that support you want to know.

You say you want to play in the NFL. Week after week, month after month, after the season goes by, and we’ve seen three years pass since you’ve taken a snap in the league. We’ve seen washed up, washed out, no-name, and has-been quarterbacks taken by teams who have suffered injuries at your position without even giving you a workout.

Certainly they haven’t forgot the time where you ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns, and threw for another pair of TDs in a playoff game against the Packers, have they? I mean it was 2013, and Lamar Jackson wasn’t even playing varsity football then. Maybe you inspired him.

Yes, people of color, and even more specifically, black Americans aren’t being treated fairly in this nation of ours. You taking a knee was to place a spotlight on that. Oh boy, the conversations are being had; more than we could have imagined.

We know the NFL settled with you, but you signed their non-disclosure agreement, so we don’t know if they gave you $15 dollars and an Amazon gift card, or if you walked away from the table with nine figures.

Here’s what I do know: There are a lot of people in the country who felt like you put out a call to action, and we were ready to carry your flag into a glorious battle. We took shots from our family, friends, and coworkers defending your “right” to do this, or the “reason” you did that, and we really didn’t hear much from you.

Some people don’t get the benefit of the doubt

Again, we’re still riding for you, we just don’t know the plan.

Yes, you have done some great things to donate $1 million to charities and causes (see the list here) Thank you for that. As someone in the philanthropy world, I see a lot of amazing folks that give. Some do it for the tax breaks. Others do it to offset negative public perception. And some do it and don’t even say a word about it.

Stephen A. Smith has an opinion that you don’t want to play the game of football. Since then, he has been called all kinds of things by some black folks. From sellout, to Uncle Tom, to Tap Dancer, and even more sad things all because of an opinion. Is his opinion right or wrong? I think only you know that.

So, I’ll tell you what I think based on what I’ve seen over the last 16 years of being very close to this NFL:

  • I’ve seen men cry for another chance
  • I’ve seen families split apart because of someone not making it anymore
  • I’ve seen some sacrifice family situations to play again
  • A close friend of mine went to a park with a gun and almost killed himself because he was cut unexpectedly
  • I just talked to someone yesterday that is staying ready by the phone for another chance

I’ll stop there and just say, I , like Stephen A. Smith, don’t think you want to play either. It doesn’t mean I don’t support what you’ve done already. It doesn’t mean I don’t believe you were blacklisted from the NFL.

It just means I don’t think you want to play. That’s it, that’s all.

So if I’m wrong, that’s fair. Trust me, I’ve been wrong about things before. However, here’s what I’m not wrong about: If there was a company that I worked for in the past, and we had a problem of trust, one where it was so bad that we settled for an amount of money, and I signed a NDA, my close friends would ask me why I would want to work for a place that I don’t trust.

So it’s simple: What’s the plan, Kaep? I’m confused. I support what you did when you took a knee, but I’m confused about what the plan is going forward. The other day in your impromptu speech, you said the NFL and their owners were hiding, but you hid a lot of this by signing that NDA. So I’m sure you can see some of the confusion.

So, what is it? What exactly are trying to do? Some might say, “Hey, it’s none of your business.” OK, that’s fair, but then who should know his plan? Because it’s us out here that are fighting about it.

Listen to KIRO Nights with Gee Scott and Aaron Mason weekdays from 7-10 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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