…and Stephen A. two
Finding out that the NFL tried to trick former star quarterback and anti-police violence activist Colin Kaepernick into signing his rights away was distressing. But learning that rapper/mogul Jay-Z helped set the table for the subterfuge and a den full of Black sportswriters backed the league’s play, is even more disconcerting.
That’s right! After all the dust settled, it was revealed that it is highly likely that Jay-Z helped the NFL try to lure Kaepernick in participating in a fake workout so that it could trick him into signing away his labor rights, particularly the right to sue.
Rumors have it that Jay-Z said that he was “disappointed” that Kaepernick did not agree to walk into the NFL’s trap.
Practically all of the circumstances surrounding the fake workout should have indicated that the NFL was not serious, and as Carolina Panthers safety and fellow activist Eric Reid pointed out, it was a mere “PR stunt.”
Kaepernick had just 48 hours to agree to the league’s terms; they tried to choose the time, place, and even the receivers he was to work with, as well as control the video of the workout. They also insisted that he sign a waiver that would have taken away his right to sue if he felt that the league was continuing to collude to keep him out.
Steven A. (clown) Smith screamed at the monitor last Monday, “I am a Black man, idiots!” in an effort to defend his previous remarks on ESPN where he defended the NFL while denigrating Kaepernick.
He insisted that he should have accepted the NFL’s terms, though the league has already made clear it cannot be trusted. His rant that Sunday can only be described as the most outstanding performance by someone pretending to be Black. He and Fox Sports talking head Jason Whitlock have clearly been bought. Smith apparently sold his soul for $20 million. Rumor has it, Whitlock exchanged his for a rub on the head.
If folks did not know any better, they would have assumed that Max Kellerman, Smith’s co-host, was Black. Retired NFL star Terrell Owens, appearing on “First Take” on Nov. 21, told Smith just that. “I’m in the streets…and Max almost seems Blacker than you, Stephen A.!” said Owens in a clip that went viral. Kellerman, a Jewish White man, was so clear in his defense of Kap and explaining what was at the heart of the issue that Black Twitter invited him to the “cookout.”
And what is at the heart of all this is the fact that though Black folks are being victimized by police violence in the U.S., the rich NFL owners simply do not care and neither does a large part of their predominantly White fan base. This is their attitude despite the fact that the vast majority of athletes on the teams they cheer for on Sunday are Black.
Steven A’s (dupe) performance along with practically all of the Black sportscasters and reporters made me long for the time when Blacks operated more as a community, back then he would have had to pay a price for selling out and would have been held accountable for peeing on Kaepernick and calling us names in front of millions of White viewers.
And what’s going on with the Black sportswriters that they feel no obligation to a community that has fought and demanded they have entre and opportunity in an arena in which most of the entertainment is provided by Black folks?
It was bad enough that Jay-Z cut a deal with the New Jersey Nets to make their imposition (gentrification)—ironically on deceased hip hop star Biggie Smalls’ Brooklyn neighborhood—to build their shiny new Barkley Center more palatable and easier to digest.
But Jay-Z doubled down on his shadiness, cutting a deal with the NFL, which was designed to improve their reputation with its Black fan base.
And according to the non-activist Jay-Z, it was “time to stop kneeling.” His advice to the activist community would be like me telling him how to lay down a beat and where to put the bridge. Reid summed it up best when he described Jay-Z’s mutterings as “asinine.”
Others tried to defend the rapper on the grounds that Jay-Z is making a smart business move, but it is Big Business that has put Black America in the position it is in.
The “Market” will not liberate us only a “Movement” can do that.
I would say shame on Jay-Z and Stephen A. (A is for ….) but they have no shame!
So this is how far we have come? All the hell we have caught because of race and racism and now we are in a place where Black people, whom the community has helped promote, are now taking the side of rich White folks against Black folks fighting for justice or just trying to do right. And worse yet, even helping to set us up! And for what? Money?
Justice, then peace
Mel Reeves was the community editor at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder until he passed away on January 6, 2022. He had a long and storied history working at the MSR.
Find more about Reeve’s life and legacy here: spokesman-recorder.com/category/remembering-mel-reeves.