Have you seen the new Nike commercial with Colin Kaepernick? I didn’t think it was horrible, for what it was. However, I confess to being unclear on what it was, exactly, other than Nike’s ploy to make millions of dollars. I mean, it’s not hard to figure out that Nike is trying to capitalize on the Kaepernick saga. What’s hard to figure out is what Colin Kaepernick is trying to accomplish.
His mission has always been fuzzy. What people think of his mission has not been fuzzy – a conclusion I’ve come to after reading articles and Facebook posts declaring he’s everything from a hero to an ungrateful, rich, lazy butt. More recently, I’ve been subjected to (oops, and even participated in) the meme wars buzzing around. Most of them are a picture of someone who has sacrificed, literally, everything for his or her country. The meme I shared was of Someone, the only One, really, who has sacrificed everything.
I shared that meme of Jesus on the cross, because though the others depicted in the memes were, in my book, truly heroes (for instance, Pat Tillman), there’s nobody as sacrificial as Jesus. And at least it is clear what Jesus did to make Him worthy of worship. Whereas, it’s still quite vague as to what Kaepernick has done, or will do, to be worthy of heroism. Granted, some do idolize the man. Perhaps kneeling in disapproval of a country he lives in, where he was adopted and housed and raised by good people and is now making millions is heroic. Perhaps getting into the NFL is heroic? Impressive maybe. Not heroic. Perhaps wearing socks with police officers depicted as pigs was heroic to some. To others, it was disgraceful and disrespectful.
What is Kaepernick’s message, exactly? What is he trying to accomplish? At this point, one wonders if it’s all about money, since he seems to be capitalizing in such big ways from the entire ordeal.
Hence the reason he should write a book. It would behoove us all if he’d stop symbolizing, hoping everyone “gets the message”, because as it stands, the message is muddy. It’s good he met with a veteran. It’s good they talked it out and came to a conclusion. But while everything seems clear as a Colorado sky to Colin and the veteran, the rest of us are wondering what the football star is attempting to convey, other than (maybe?) America sucks. Or did suck. Or still kinda sucks. I dunno.
Articulating is difficult. As a writer, I know this. Expressing oneself with the written word (or verbally) takes time. It takes brains and wit and humor and … sacrifice. But in the writing, a writer comes to realize what he or she truly thinks, and at this point, it’s doubtful Kaepernick knows what he thinks, for sure. And if he wrote his thoughts out, edited, edited, and edited some more, his message would become clearer to him, and thereby clearer to his audience.
If I saw Kaepernick in person, I’d probably pat his hair if he’d let me. I think it’s awesome. Being a person with big hair myself, I appreciate the way he just lets it fly. He’s probably also a fantastic football player, and while that takes sacrifice, it’s a different type of sacrifice than those who have given their lives so that others, like Kaepernick, have the freedom to express themselves. Unlike most of us though, Kaepernick is high profile. So what he says and the expressions he chooses to exhibit need to be clear, concise, and constructive. If he can figure a way to do that besides write a book, great. I’m merely suggesting he not be so ambiguous. Many are drawing conclusions, right or wrong. They’re trying to understand, but frankly, most don’t get it.
So if you’re out there, Colin, listening (haha, yeah right), please write to us. You. Write. To us. No ghostwriters. Do the hard work. Sacrifice your time to tell us what you really think of America, your neighbors of all colors, your struggles, and your political viewpoints, including slavery, The Star Spangled Banner, white police officers, and whatever else has put a burr in your saddle. We want details, because we are weary of the guessing game. Mostly, we want to know what you really believe in, even though making us privy to your thoughts will hardly be a sacrifice with the large advance and royalties you would undoubtedly receive in return.
On the other hand, you could write, and since you are financially well off, forfeit any profit, pay out of pocket for the publishing, offer the book for free via Kindle. I hear President Trump does something similar by refusing payment for his sacrifice and service to his fellow citizens.
I mean … it’s just a thought.
**Update: Colin has a 1 million dollar book deal, and will reportedly donate the funds to help others. Excellent! (But I hope still hope he clears the muddy waters for us in that book, especially where his “social activism” is concerned. Time will tell.) Here’s a link to the future book, due in 2021, if Anazon can be trusted.