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If the NFL is waiting for Colin Kaepernick to give in to some ridiculous notion that he must tell the world he’s focused on playing football and nothing else, that’s not going to happen.
Kaepernick remains unsigned, but he’s not letting it affect his life. On July 4, Kaepernick posted on social media about his trip “home” to Ghana.
Kaepernick started a longer Instagram post about the trip with the Frederick Douglass quote, “What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence?” Here’s what Kaepernick wrote:
“In a quest to find my personal independence, I had to find out where my ancestors came from. I set out tracing my African ancestral roots, and it lead me to Ghana. Upon finding out this information, I wanted to visit the sites responsible for myself (and many other Black folks in the African Diaspora) for being forced into the hells of the middle passage. I wanted to see a fraction of what they saw before reaching the point of no return.
“I spent time with the/my Ghanaian people, from visiting the local hospital in Keta and the village of Atito, to eating banku in the homes of local friends, and paying my respects to Kwame Nkrumah’s Memorial Park.
“I felt their love, and truly I hope that they felt mine in return.”
Is posting all of this on July 4 a bit defiant, especially after San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a recent radio interview he told Kaepernick: “I think you are having a little bit of an image crisis in terms of, not so much what you did last year, but people are wondering: Is this most important to you?” Probably. Even if Kaepernick doesn’t think he’s being defiant, the conservative NFL that would rather sign Blaine Gabbert and EJ Manuel before him probably thinks it is. It’s not right, but it probably won’t help him get signed anytime soon.
If people were upset with Kaepernick’s national-anthem protest last season, nothing will change their minds. However, there’s something admirable about Kaepernick not jumping through some insane hoops for the NFL, like him sitting in front of a television camera and saying he still wants to play. That’s ridiculous, and Kaepernick is right to see through it.
Some won’t see it that way, but Kaepernick clearly isn’t spending a lot of time worrying about that. Nor should he.
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