A week ago, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick spoke with the media, and mentioned that he has received death threats since he began kneeling during the National Anthem. He has said that if action were taken by those offering threats, it would prove his point that there are problems in this country that need to be addressed.
He is not the only player dealing with racist cowards. Former 49ers player and current Miami Dolphins player Michael Thomas said he too has received death threats since taking a knee.
Over the weekend, Nebraska football players Michael Rose-Ivey, Mohamed Barry, and DaiShon Neal all took a knee during the National Anthem. Since then, they have been inundated with threats from racist cowards. Rose-Ivey spoke about the decision to kneel and the threats he and his teammates have since receiver. Here is what he said about the threats and racist comments he has received:
I was still referred on Facebook and Twitter as a “clueless, confused nigger” by former high school classmates, friends, peers, and even Huskers fans. Some believe DaiShon, Mohamed, and myself should be kicked off the team or suspended, while some say we should be lynched or shot just like the other black people that have died recently. Another believed that since we didn’t want to stand for anthem, that we should be hung before the anthem before the next game.
You can watch his full statement below, but it helps show how much the players have thought about these issues. Colin Kaepernick has spoken regularly on the topic, and we are seeing more players join in the discussion. Racism remains a major problem in this country. There are people out there who insist it is the fault of black people that they cannot get ahead. There are people who think racism either doesn’t exist, or is something that was eradicated with the Civil Rights movement of last century.
However, racism is not just about pointed white hoods and shouting the N word. Rose-Ivey’s statement does show that overt racist behavior still exists, but to think that this is the only kind of racism is to stick one’s head in the sand and ignore numerous realities. Athletes and others are taking a stand, offering up an entirely peaceful protest to generate discussion and hopefully bring about change. People will find ways to move the proverbial goal posts in the discussion, but that’s been happening in debates over equal rights for years.
To Michael Rose-Ivey, Colin Kaepernick, Michael Thomas, and so many others, stay strong. History will be on your side.