Lorraine Berry has an excellent article up at Raw Story about why white fragility explodes any time an athlete who is a person of colour acts on their principles. There really should not be any problem with any athlete (or other entertainer) using their position to point out very big problems. These people have all worked very hard to attain their present status and position, and yes, they earn a fucktonne of money. That money, however, is not a gift from the oh-so-magnanimous white folks to that slave on the field who happens to momentarily delight the owners. The reaction of white people over Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the anthem is sickening. Shouts of “ni**er!” all over, people aghast that he’s given all that money, and is so damn uppity and ungrateful. For anyone with a conscience, for anyone with empathy and compassion, there’s an obligation to point out injustices, an obligation to do something, and to stand by your principles. It takes courage to do that, and it might be nice if a bunch of white people could figure that out.
Just a snippet from Lorraine Berry’s article, it’s excellent, click over and read!
…Kaepernick issued a statement through the NFL after the San Francisco 49ers first pre-season game, after he had failed to join the pre-game ceremony of standing for 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 Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
In the 1968 Olympics, two American athletes and one Australian athlete took on the entire International Olympic Committee in an effort to protest a variety of issues in which the IOC’s decisions were making it harder for black athletes all over the world to compete fairly and to live in a just world. Their actions were greeted by the American public — and by American journalists — as if they had attempted to burn the Olympic games down to the ground, and they were seen as men who had thought their egos larger than the supposed spirit of the Olympic celebration of international brotherhood (sic). Of course, the Australian athlete, Peter Norman, who took silver, was punished in Australia, which had its own abysmal human rights record toward its Aboriginal population, and the payback for his participation in the protest was that he was never allowed to represent Australia again. …