It’s a curious thing.
I love sports. I love engaging in political discourse.
I hate when those two intermingle.
One is about the thrill of competition and entertainment. The other is about competing conceptions of sociopolitical ideologies.
Why in the world do so many athletes in 2019 insist on the two mixing? It’s maddening.
The latest example of this comes from NBA superstars LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Both men showed their support for unsigned quarterback Colin Kaepernick by wearing limited edition “#IMWITHKAP” jerseys, Sports Illustrated reported.
Kaepernick thanked both Durant and James on Twitter for wearing the clothes.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) February 2, 2019
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) February 1, 2019
To be clear, this is the same LeBron James who has shown some hypocrisy in his previous support of Kaepernick and the same Kevin Durant who has shown some severe immaturity in how he handles the real world.
Neither should be considered the reigning authority on American politics.
Given that, it’s certainly no coincidence that the two opted to wear their Kaepernick jerseys in the week leading up to the NFL’s biggest showcase of the year, Super Bowl LIII.
Durant and James, along with many other Kaepernick supporters, seem to think that the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is being “blackballed” by the NFL because he was the originator of national anthem protests. What better time to drudge up that tired and parroted narrative than right before the Super Bowl?
Here are the facts about Kaepernick that James and Durant seem to willfully ignore.
First, Kaepernick grades out as a backup quarterback, despite his Super Bowl appearance in 2013. Even a mediocre quarterback like Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson can make it to the Super Bowl behind an elite defense. Unlike Kaepernick, Dilfer and Johnson actually won the big game.
Second, wherever Kaepernick goes, a media circus will follow him. Based on how much coverage the man gets while he’s unemployed, it’s more than safe to assume that as well.
Third, a backup quarterback who has a media circus in tow is not worth it. A starting quarterback is hardly worth that kind of distraction.
Not helping matters is Kaepernick’s ongoing collusion grievance against the league, which is an entirely different issue. Kaepernick faces a monumental uphill battle with his grievance because to prove collusion, he would need something tangible (i.e. an email or a text) proving that NFL owners conspired to keep him unsigned.
An owner, on his own, who believes Kaepernick’s anthem protests are the ultimate show of disrespect to the flag and all those who serve and protect it, and decides not to sign him for that reason, does not demonstrat collusion.
Oh, and then there are these types of comments from Kaepernick’s girlfriend, Nessa Diab, that are habitually posted on social media.
“NFL got polling data on Kaepernick, sources told Yahoo Sports” https://t.co/XHd3DpJBYP
— NESSA (@nessnitty) January 31, 2019
So please stop perpetuating the victim narrative.
I care about whether Kevin Durant wins his third straight championship with the Golden State Warriors and whether LeBron James can drag a subpar Los Angeles Lakers team to playoff berth in the tightly contested Western Conference.
I could not care less about the politics they’re peddling.
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