In Kap controversy, America reaches new levels of insanity


In Kap controversy, America reaches new levels of insanity

Colin Kaepernick Day Five has now turned officially into a remote episode of Crazytown. Which, knowing our new bat-loony American landscape, is probably how this was meant to go.

Now, though, through the auspices of former NFL player and NBC analyst Rodney Harrison, we all get to play an exciting new parlor game, a half-drunken version of Cards Against Humanity in which every question is Kaepernick himself.

And the new question is, “How Black Is Colin Kaepernick?”

And no, you didn’t see it coming.

Oh, we’ve all run and danced gleefully with “Is Colin Kaepernick A Qualified Social Critic?” and “Is Colin Kaepernick A Competent Quarterback?” and “Is Colin Kaepernick A Loyal American Citizen?” and “Is Colin Kaepernick Too Rich To Complain?” and “Is Colin Kaepernick Qualified To Be A Police Critic?” and “Is Colin Kaepernick Still Employed? and as of 1 p.m., "Is Colin Kaepernick In Desperate Need Of A Cheeseburger?”

But until Harrison decided to make the point that Kaepernick isn’t qualified to talk about black issues under his mistaken assumption that Kaepernick had no black heritage and therefore his formative experiences were not sufficiently oppressive to qualify, nobody really questioned his racial credentials.

Harrison has since apologized with some profusion on Twitter after the sirens of social media seared him at the edges, and it would be needless piling on to be the one to put the 493rd and 494th boots into his rib cage.

But Harrison isn’t the point here anyway. It’s how a simple sedentary statement became a five-ring pie fight in less than a week. Colin Kaepernick has gone from ignored protester to the new face of American protest to a person of debatable ethnicity. What next, “Is Colin Kaepernick A Human?” “Is Colin Kaepernick A Hologram?” “Is Colin Kaepernick An Earthling?” “Is Colin Kaepernick A Three-Dimensional Life Structure?” “Is Colin Kaepernick A Carbon-Based Life Form?” and “Is There Really A Colin Kaepernick At All, Or Have We Just Made Him Up To Have An Internet-Quality Screaming Match With Everyone Else?”

This, in short, is a level of bizarre that a sixty-foot sculpture atop a mountain that reads simply “HAVE WE ALL GONE MAD?” in neon Old English letters cannot begin to convey.

We have now taken the nation into a giant room and asked not about police tactics or social inequities or justice vs. peace or activism vs. fair comment, but to debate the very essence of Colin Kaepernick – who once not so long ago was the backup quarterback on a lower-level National Football League team.

You want Crazytown? This is Crazytown Heights.

It has been clear for some time that most debate in America goes from Postulate to Rebuttal to Ad Hominem Attack to Fist In Face in pretty quick order. It’s how we as a collective became the smartest and stupidest culture on earth at the same time.

But we had stayed away from things like the very nature of social existence, leaving that to the Morgan Freeman/Through The Wormhole/Science Channel Unchanged segment of the population.

But now here it is – a man who sat for the national anthem three times before anyone noticed, and only then because he was wearing a gaudy football suit at the time, explained why he did it, thus creating this rhetorical vortex:

“He has every right to say it and we defend his right to do so even though he should just shut up because he’s a crap quarterback and makes too much money to be bitching and he shouldn’t have said it while sitting down and he shouldn’t be mean to a symbol while wearing a symbol during a song that is essentially a symbol and how dare he slander the law enforcement and cosmetology industries and what does he know anyway he desperately needs a brisket but yeah he has the right to say it even though all that there.”

That should have been plenty. But now the added twist, “And besides, he may be insufficiently ethnic,” adds three more days to the news cycle and more fodder for the chattering nitwit class, a new level of fevered shrieking about who is qualified to be anything, and makes his future as a football player an almost completely ancillary point.

And Kaepernick says he knew what he was in store for when he chose his action. He didn’t know this. Not a chance.

So the lesson for us all? Never assume we as a culture can’t find new levels of clinical insanity when we put our minds to it. We not only have the means, the motive and opportunity, we have the imaginations to take this anywhere we want to go.

Me, I’m starting a discussion on the topic, “Is Colin Kaepernick A Time-And-Shape-Shifting Emissary From An Alternate Universe?” or in the alternative, “Is Colin Kaepernick Using Us All As A Gigantic Psychological Masters Thesis?”

If the first one is yes, cool. If the second is yes, we all probably have it coming, just for living here and now, before our galactic overlords take control and turn this into a gigantic petting zoo.

Trump to anthem protesters: 'Get that son of a b---- off the field'


Trump to anthem protesters: 'Get that son of a b---- off the field'

On Thursday prior to the 49ers' game against the Rams, Eric Reid continued his protest during the national anthem by taking a knee.

On Friday, President Donald Trump had an idea as to what should happen to players like Reid. 

Speaking in Huntsville, AL, Trump told a group of his supporters during a campaign rally, "wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when someone disrespects our flag to say, 'get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He's fired. He's fired."

The statement was welcomed by cheers from the crowd. 

Reid joined Colin Kaepernick in protest last season. Kaepernick isn't on an NFL roster. Reid sat out Thursday's game with an injury. 

Said Reid of his (non) stance earlier in the year:  “When we started last year, if you recall, we said our goal was to raise awareness and shed light on the issues that were happening in our country. I think we accomplished that goal. What I was upset about was the narrative, the false narrative, that were being told about us, people saying that we’re un-American, that we’re against police entirely and the military. That just wasn’t true. At first I thought that was a small sacrifice to pay to get the word out and raise awareness. I settled with thinking raising that awareness was victory.

“Then fast forward to Charlottesville and the country sees what an un- American protest really looks like. That’s when I had my change of heart. Because what Colin, Eli and I did was a peaceful protest fueled by faith in God to help make our country a better place. I feel I needed to regain control of that narrative and not let people say that what we’re doing is un-American, because it’s not. It’s completely American. We’re doing it because we want equality for everybody. We want our country to be a better place. So that’s why I decided to resume the protest.”

To date, at least 14 players have protested during the national anthem -- that number rises to close to 60 if you include the NFL preseason.

Trump added: “You know, some owner is gonna do that. He’s gonna say, ‘That guy disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it. They don’t know it. They’re friends of mine, many of them. They don’t know it. They’ll be the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country.

“But do you know what’s hurting the game more than that [referees]? When people like yourselves turn on the television and you see those players taking the knee when they’re playing our great national anthem. The only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium. I guarantee things will stop. Things will stop. Just pick up and leave. Pick up and leave. Not the same game anymore, anyway.”

Shanahan: Carradine could be heading to IR


Shanahan: Carradine could be heading to IR

Defensive lineman Tank Carradine will miss an extended period of time with a high ankle sprain sustained in the fourth quarter of the 49ers’ 41-39 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said on Friday the team was awaiting the results of an MRI examination. The 49ers could decide to place Carradine on injured reserve, which would make him eligible to return to action later in the season.

“We’re going to have to get that and really decide whether IR or not,” Shanahan said. “Because any time you have a high ankle sprain it’s going to be a while. We’re not exactly sure how long that’s going to be, but we’ll have to decide that probably Monday.”

The 49ers expect to be without the services of linebacker Reuben Foster and safety Eric Reid, too.

Also, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, safety Jaquiski Tartt and linebacker Brock Coyle are in the concussion protocol after sustaining head injuries on Thursday.

Although the 49ers’ medical staff no longer requires Foster to wear an orthopedic boot for his high ankle sprain, Shanahan said he would be shocked if the rookie is able to return to action Oct. 1 against the Arizona Cardinals.

“I’d be shocked if he came back this week,” Shanahan said. “I’d be surprised. We’re taking it week to week. I’m not really expecting him this week but You never know with some of these athletes. He might be there, but I’m not expecting it right now.”

Reid’s rehab is behind Foster’s, according to Shanahan. Reid sustained a left knee injury Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks and is expected to miss multiple games.

Speaking at his day-after-game press conference, Shanahan said he was disappointed that the 49ers’ pass rush did not apply more pressure to Rams quarterback Jared Goff.

“We didn’t affect the quarterback enough,” Shanahan said. “I thought we did a very good job against Seattle and we took a step back on that last night.”

When asked what he saw on the critical late-fourth-quarter play on which rookie receiver Trent Taylor was called for pass interference, Shanahan said, “I saw a very good route.“