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.

Bills sign two former 49ers

Bills sign two former 49ers

The Buffalo Bills have signed two 49ers free agents within the past two days.

After signing wide receiver Rod Streater on Wednesday, the Bills announced the signing of linebacker Gerald Hodges on Thursday.

The 49ers acquired Hodges in a 2015 trade with the Minnesota Vikings for center Nick Easton and a sixth-round draft pick. Hodges started 12 games last season and ranked second on the team with 92 tackles.

Hodges left the 49ers shorthanded for a late-season game against the Atlanta Falcons when he violated team rules. Then-coach Chip Kelly did not disclose the nature of Hodges infraction. Hodges offered no explanation or apology.

The 49ers entered the game against the high-powered Falcons with just two healthy inside linebackers due to Hodges’ deactivation. Starter Nick Bellore sustained an elbow injury on the third play of the game, and the 49ers were forced to use safeties Antoine Bethea and Vinnie Sunseri, and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks at various points of the game.

The 49ers showed no interest in re-signing Hodges as a free agent.

Streater, a five-year NFL veteran, saw action in all 16 games last season after being acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs in September. He caught 18 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns.

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

It was Jim Harbaugh's first season as head coach of the 49ers.

The 4-1 49ers were in Detroit and scored 10 points in the final 5:29 to beat the Lions 25-19.

An excited Harbaugh got a little too agressive during his postgame handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. The two had words for each other and had to be separated.

Six years later, Harbaugh took the blame for what happened and said that he and Schwartz have patched things up.

"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake. I've since changed that. Not doing that anymore. Can't blame him. I went in too hard. And you respect him for taking exception. We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as loser. You just, 'Hey, nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong," Harbaugh said Tuesday on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast.

Harbaugh sounds like he's learned his lesson from that incident with Schwartz.

"The postgame handshake isn't the place for anything. If you're bitter, than change the I to an E. Don't get bitter, get better. Nothing's really changing at the postgame handshake. Just professionally shake hands and go on your way," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh moved on from the 49ers to coach the Michigan Wolverines. Schwartz coached the Lions through the 2013 season and currently serves as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles.