Former NFL quarterback turned activist Colin Kaepernick is still making waves for his brand of activism.
Kaep’s Netflix Series, “Colin in Black & White,” re-enacts his childhood as a biracial child adopted by white parents. However, Kaep showcases the struggles felt like a black child moving in the white world of Turlock, California.
Past To Present
In the series, Kaep shows the similarities of the NFL combine to the slave auction system. The NFL combine consists of a series of drills, exercises, interviews, aptitude tests, and physical exams designed to assess the skills of promising college football players and predict their performance in the NFL.
UFC color commentator, comedian, and podcaster, Joe Rogan had a significant problem with this.
“Did you see that NFL Netflix special where Colin Kaepernick is comparing the NFL to slavery?” Rogan said on a recent episode of his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.
“Throsa Parks, that’s what I call that dude,” his guest comedian Theo Von said.
“Throsa Parks!” Rogan laughed.
“That is the lamest; I did try to watch it,” Von said.
“It’s the dumbest comparison,” said Rogan.
“It makes me sad because it feels like the lowest pandering for racism that you could create. It’s almost infantile, the pandering of it, and I think it takes away from real racist sh*t that happens,” said Von.
Why The NFL Conjures Slavery| What Colin Kaepernick Said Isn’t New Or Inaccurate
Rogan’s Big Issue
He doesn't know much sports history either. Curt Flood made the same comparison.
— Reginald Broadnax (@DrHockey9) November 22, 2021
“Imagine comparing the ability to do it or not do it,” said Rogan. “You sign up for it. Everybody, like so many people play football, want to be in the NFL; it’s a goal, it’s a dream. You can make millions of dollars and imagine comparing that to slavery simply because they measure people’s physical performance.
“That’s what he was doing; he was measuring wingspans and the Combine scores like for weight lifting and speed and all that stuff. That’s to see how physically adept you are, how good you’re going to be at football, so they’ll give you tons of money.
“The idea that this is comparable to slavery. Whoever f*#king wrote that down and then the fact that he read it and said it and then they have that video where they’re comparing the NFL owners to the slave masters and they’re shaking hands with one another, like, what the f*#k are you talking about?”
Black & White
During the opening of the first episode of the series, football players are seen performing a staged combine for a group of white coaches.
In his Netflix special, Colin Kaepernick suggests the NFL training camp is synonymous with literally buying slaves.
— Mythinformed MKE (@MythinformedMKE) October 30, 2021
“What they don’t want you to understand is what’s being established is a power dynamic,” Kaepernick says during the narration.
“Before they put you on the field, teams poke, prod and examine you searching for any defect that might affect your performance,” he continues. “No boundary respect. No dignity left intact.”
The juxtaposition that comes is drastic as Black men are shown being evaluated in an American slave market. The players are “sold” to the slave owners who shake hands with a football coach.
Rogan fails to understand that for Black America, the realities of the white gaze, being seen as property, and chattel beasts of burden are the actual linkage.
Jason Wright Smashes The Glass Ceiling, Becomes First Black Team President In NFL History
Although players have free will to participate in the NFL combine, the methodology of a physical evaluation, sans medical assessment, is exactly like a slave auction. With all the revelations through the NFL’s email scandal, the biased views held at the top of NFL franchises are clearer.
Money The Root Of Evil
The fact that NFL combine participants are eligible to make millions is inconsequential if the result is a high-paid slave who can never ascend to the owner’s position. As of today, there is no Black NFL team owner and barely any Black NFL head coaches.
Lack of empathy to the perspective is what Rogan suffers from. The comparison is uncomfortable economically doesn’t mean it isn’t accurate from a dynamic power one.
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