Wednesday, October 17 , 2018, 10:25 am | Fair 63º

 
 
 
 

Peter Funt: NFL’s Colin Kaepernick Saga Is Discrimination on Many Levels

“Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”

The words are those of the late writer and social activist James Baldwin. When tweeted by football player Colin Kaepernick the other day to mark Baldwin’s birthdate, you had to wonder who Kaepernick had in mind.

Was it the 32 owners of NFL teams who have conspired (my word, certainly not theirs) to keep Kaepernick out of football? Or, was the former San Francisco 49ers star aiming higher, perhaps all the way to the White House?

Kaepernick’s tweet came after Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti asked fans to “pray for us” as the team’s coaches dared to even consider signing the controversial quarterback.

Kaepernick is blacklisted because, as a 49er, he joined a movement against police brutality by once showing up at practice wearing socks with a cartoon that depicted cops as pigs and, more publicly, by taking a knee at games during the National Anthem.

The fact that several other players joined Kaepernick doesn’t seem to matter. Nor does the fact that NFL owners have eagerly hired various wife-beaters, bar-brawlers, gun-toters and drug-abusers. NFL owners have proved repeatedly that they are both ignorant and powerful.

The same day, on a larger and far more important stage, President Donald Trump’s administration revealed its xenophobic plans to sharply reduce legal immigration. Trump would cut the number of immigrants in half under a proposed system that discriminates based upon age, ability to speak English and earning power.

It is the complete antithesis of America’s founding principles.

This from a president who has already sought to bar visitors from Muslim-majority countries, and slammed the door on many refugees from war-torn regions. This from a man who campaigned against illegal immigration while insisting that he supported the legal pathway that has for decades created our nation’s diverse social fabric.

Trump’s proposed changes to immigration law are touted as a way to protect the jobs of low-income Americans. In fact, most economists say that is nonsense. Moreover, industries such as agriculture and tourism would suffer greatly under his plan.

A wealthy career businessman, Trump is trying to operate government much as the NFL owners he so admires run their teams. Play to the base — which is to say, the fans. Bar those who are different — not just in appearance, but in terms of culture, politics and style.

In the words of Baldwin, “The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.”

Peter Funt is a writer, speaker and author of the book, Cautiously Optimistic. He is syndicated by Cagle Cartoons and can be contacted at www.candidcamera.com. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.