What if I told you that an ESPN on air host recently decided to speak about the Colin Kaepernick situation and the subsequent protests by saying, I mean, go for it, that is your right. I think its comical. I think Colin Kaepernick, he would still be on the Niners if he were that good. Other teams would have picked him up. People need talent. Theres no question about that, right? If he were that good, someone would have picked him up.
Or maybe he is, and these team owners, the PR staffs say is it worth it? Because the fallout that comes with it fans, suite luxury box holders theres a lot of money involved in that. And you have to consider all those things as a business owner. That is his right, to say we dont want to really go there. And by the way, Ray Lewis back in 01, 2000, completely different time. More serious, of course he was never convicted of that, and people forget that. Ray Rice, obviously things worked themselves out, as they should have, in my opinion. But we pick and choose, and I think its fascinating that oh this is a big deal, and this is not. They are business owners; they have a right.
Who did you imagine speaking those words? How much melanin did they seem to have in their skin? Did you picture the voice of a man or a woman? Pretty safe to say that your image was that of a caucasian man right?
That statement came courtesy of Sage Steele.
Sage Steele says people don’t want to hear about Charlottesville on ESPN: https://t.co/J0TUW9QUIq
Now envision an NFL players wife saying, While I understand (and am deeply proud) that Seth is the first white NFL player to kneel during a demonstration like this, I would like to push back against some of the attention hes been getting that portrays him as some sort of white savior to a movement that was started and has been carried on by black football players for about a year now.
I am grateful for the widespread support and praise that Seth is receiving for his actions, but I would like to offer a humble reminder that a mana black manliterally lost his job for taking a knee, week after week, on his own. Colin Kaepernick bravely took a step and began a movement throughout the NFL, and he suffered a ridiculous amount of hate and threats and ultimately lost his lifes work in the sport he loves.
We should not see Seths participation as legitimizing this movement. Rather, he chose to be an ally of his black teammates. To center the focus of Mondays demonstration solely on Seth is to distract from what our real focus should be: listening to the experiences and the voices of the black people who are using their platforms to continue to bring the issue of racism in the U.S. to the forefront. Seth, as a white individual, never has and never will truly have to feel the weight and burden of racial discrimination and racial oppression.
Who would you conjure up in your mind for that statement? Did you conceptualize a pretty, perky blond standing by her man as he demonstrated his own personal convictions and loyalty for his teammates?
Erica Harris DeValve, originator of that statement, is an intelligent, proud black woman who was advocating for both her culture and her husband at the same time, a man who became the first white player in the NFL to take a knee during the National Anthem.
Powerful statement from @SethDevalve on why he decided to protest and take a knee during the National Anthem.
It would be awesome if someone could let Mrs. Steele know that it can be done. Both she and Mrs. Harris DeValve are in interracial relationships but the main difference between the two would appear to be that one is standing up for what is right while the other is toeing the company line.
Dont get it twisted, every person of color has to know how to put on the mask from time to time. We must learn how to speak both inside and outside of our respective cultures and communities at times. But if you are blessed with the platform to help improve conditions for the next generation, you are expected to do just that.
Steele didnt have to say a word against Kaepernick. As she says about others, she had the right to do it.
But that doesn’t mean that she had to do it.
There is a difference.
She had a choice to use her words for the greater good of her people or to stay silent on the matter, thereby not making things more difficult on the protesters or for Kaepernick himself. She chose neither.
On the other hand, Mrs. Harris DeValve could have just been an NFL wife and not spoken up either way.
Erica DeValve should raise her voice on the topic and tell people what she thinks about all of it in a public forum! said no one ever.
But she took a teachable moment and taught the lesson. She explained why what was happening with her husband was so important. She didnt yell or scream or make a public spectacle of herself.
Can Sage Steele say the same?
Other athletes spoke out about racism over the course of time and we as a people are better for it. They caught hell in the moment when it was going down, but now we remember them fondly for their actions and the doors they opened. They became iconic in that moment and history reflects upon them accordingly. Imagine if Tommie Smith, John Carlos and Muhammad Ali took advice from Sage.
The same will probably be true of Kaepernick with or without the help or fake outrage of Sage Steele. History will judge her for this too.
It might behoove her to take a page out of the playbook of another sistah who married a non African-American man. You can function within a society that doesnt look like you without cowering or tearing your own people down to make those in the other culture feel less anxious about your presence there. You can also exist happily without feeling the need to constantly justify your interracial relationship; it makes you look like you have to defend it when no one really cares.
Colin Kaepernick is not a bad player…and she knows it. What she said was not only wrong, it was foul. And at the end of the day, it will not make the counterculture accept her, nor give her an unlimited passport into caucasian land.
The same thing Kaepernick is protesting, and people are supporting him in, could still reach her and those around her if they end up in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong law enforcement present. Who she married or who she affiliates with wont matter in a predicament like that. Someone should remind her of this or simply point to OJ for proof.
If Sage Steele cant be bothered to take notes on how Erica Harris DeValve moves, she can at the very least call upon a bit of advice that is given across all cultures from birth on up.
If you cant say something nice, then dont say anything at all.
ESPN is facing some backlash because of Steele and her not so sage thoughts and beliefs. There could be a loss of personal revenue to her for what she is out here saying.
Maybe she should do what she constantly advises others to do and just speak on highlights. After all, with all of her questionable and ill-advised takes on race, no one wants to hear about this from her. If she is that good, then it shouldnt be a problem…right?