Colin Kaepernick has not played NFL football in four seasons.
It all began when he refused to stand during the playing of the National Anthem. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL network’s Steve Wyche.
Kaepernick led the San Francisco 49ers to an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII and was in a contract year when he took his stance on the American Flag.
Fast forward to 2020, the coronavirus pandemic hit, the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor highlighted police brutality and racial inequalities. So did Jacob Blake being shot seven times by police officers in Wisconsin.
As a result, earlier this week, NBA stars sat out of NBA Playoff games and forced team owners to make important decisions on voting rights.
This dialogue poses the million dollar question: Did Colin Kaepernick get it right?
“Oh we know,” retired NBA vet, Craig Hodges told Brian Mazique, Ben Doody and myself on the Heavy With Scoop B Show.
“When I look at Colin Kaepernick with the social media platform that he has, he was able to expand the consiousness of America in a period of time that with Donald Trump being elected and the right wing; our society being able to stand up with dog whistles and write out and gaslight. So it’s a thing now more than any period of time where athletes have an opportunity to have even more power with and bringing out solutions fot those who don’t have that opportunity to.”
An NBA Champion with the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls in the 90s, it is believed that Craig Hodges was blackballed by the NBA after he handed a letter to former U.S. President George H.W. Bush during the Bulls’ championship visit to the White House.
The contents of the letter, according to Hodges made President Bush aware of the mistreatment of poor people and people of color in the United States. “One of the things, we look at the fabric of not just Colin but myself, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brown,” Hodges tells the Heavy With Scoop B Show.
“Sometimes we look at it and the people analyze it and say: ‘Oh man that’s a different style of athlete.’ But when you stop and look at where we come from and we’re the fabric and culture of our communities and that the struggles that were going on in our communities, we were fortunate enough to go away and study about them and try to have some impact and some impact in solving them. So, we’re no different than any of our other people, it’s just that we’re highlighted because of the positions that we have within society.”
Hodges also shared why he is skeptical of the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida. “I haven’t watched a game, man,” he said.
“And since they’ve been down there, I’ve seen some highlights. When I looked at it, to me, it’s a video game. It doesn’t even look real to me. So it doesn’t look as though it’s something that, it doesn’t even look like they’re playing for a championship. It looks like they’re practice games. and that’s why I’m telling people these scoring toals are so elevated; it’s because they’re playing in practice.
“When all of it went down and they said: ‘Well, we’re going down to the bubble, it’s going to give you a bigger platform.’ To me, it’s a joke because we know that when you go into the bubble, it’s about NBA basketball and their product and their product is producing strong players putting the ball into the basket and not civil rights or human rights. So I don’t look to the NBA for human rights because when I look at the way that I was treated over the years and even up and through All Star Weekend this year, I know I’ve been someone persona non grata and it’s cool with me man, because I understand we’re standing on history and we’re standing on historical terms that will have to be answered at some point and time whether it be me or my children and I think that’s based on the vibrations that we’re seeing today throughout the world. We’re seeing Kamala Harris being the first sister to be nominated for the Vice President, we’re seeing young people all over the world marching in terms of Black Lives Matter, so it’s a different day, man.”