The United States are shaken in their way of being. They have a knee on the floor. Several political scientists americans believe that the riots of the last days are the most violent from those generated by the assassination of Martin Luther King, in 1968.
These events had struck the 14-year-old that I was. I was riveted to my television set, as I am today.
Two months after the death of pastor King, Robert Kennedy fell to his lap under the bullets of an assassin while he was well positioned to win the democratic nomination in anticipation of the presidential elections.
In the wonderful series Baseball, a documentary about the american life of the 19th century to the present day seen through the baseball, former player Curt Flood said that the dream of African-Americans, the dream that Martin Luther King said, see in his famous speech I have a dream, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln memorial in 1963, fainted on the day that Bobby Kennedy is gone to join his brother John F.
Kennedy, also assassinated, and Martin Luther King, in the afterlife.
Enough is enough !
Curt Flood was right.
It is clear that the passage of Barack Obama to the White House has not had the desired effects for the african-american community.
Racism is still present 155 years after the abolition of slavery by president Abraham Lincoln, and 55 years after the adoption of civil rights.
Flood did not fight only for his rights as a man. He was the first player in major league baseball to stand up to defend its rights worker.
After having refused the transaction that was sent to the Cardinals of St. Louis to the Philadelphia Phillies after the season 1969, he had gone up to the supreme Court of the United States to fight the reserve clause, which prohibited the autonomy of the players. He lost his cause.
But five years later, an arbitrator hired by the major league baseball, to Peter Seitz, annoyed by the stubbornness of the owners make any concessions, granted the right of autonomy to the players.
The players of today owe a lot to Curt Flood. But it makes you wonder if they know him and know what he has done for them.
Flood would be disappointed to see that the perception toward Blacks has not changed much since he left us. Yet, it surpasses all understanding.
When will he stop?
And if the Vikings the hiring ?
That brings us to Colin Kaepernick, this old quarter of the San Francisco 49ers who had taken the habit of asking one knee on the ground during the american national anthem, in protest against the police violence done to African-Americans.
His name is in the news in the wake of incidents relating to the murder of George Floyd by the former police officer Derek Chauvin.
A political analyst of CNN, Joe Lockhart, offers to the Minnesota Vikings, whose stadium is located in Minneapolis, the city where George Floyd was killed, to offer a contract to Kaepernick.
This Mr. Lockhart has a strong background in communications. It has been the press secretary to president Bill Clinton, from 1998 to 2000. From 2016 to 2018, he has worked for the national football League as vice-president in charge of communications and relations with governments.
Mr. Lockhart was employed by the NFL during the deal Kaepernick. The latter has never played since he has put an end to the agreement that linked him to the 49ers before the season 2017.
Here are the words of Mr. Lockhart today : “I was wrong. The NFL teams were wrong not to hire him. I now understand how we were wrong. “
A step towards progress
The Baltimore Ravens were thought to make Kaepernick their quarterback of the auxiliary, who were counting on Joe Flacco for the starting job. A rumour circulated according to which their owner Steve Bisciotti feared a negative reaction from the public, what the team has refuted.
It is also important to know that Kaepernick has refused an offer of the Denver Broncos, who offered a base salary of seven million. It was 4.9 million less than the base salary he was drawing with the 49ers.
32-year-old Kaepernick is still of age to play football. The question is whether it would he yet have the capacity to do so after three years of inactivity ?
Joe Lockhart think that the owners of the Vikings, Zygi and Mark Wilf, would send a strong message, offering him a contract.
“Bring him in training camp and that it is treated just like all the players who are given the chance to practice the sport they love, he wrote on the website of CNN.
“It will not solve the problem of police violence toward people of the black community. But it will shed light on the problem that Kaepernick has denounced with force. It will prove, perhaps, that, with the courage, real progress could be made. “
A man involved
If the career of Kaepernick is completed, why the NFL would not use its services in a role of spokesperson, the function of which would be closer to the communities ?
Not to show off, but with a real desire to want to change things.
The NFL has a debt owed to him.
Four years after his last game, his gesture that had earned him the criticism of Donald Trump and a part of the american population takes on its full significance.
Sport and american society is greatly in need of him. The man is engaged. In April, he donated $ 100,000 to a foundation to help the Blacks with the COVID-19.
All the sports leagues, all athletes have social responsibilities. It is good to denounce, such as they are, but the sport can do so much more.
And the time to do so, it is now.