Colin Kaepernick #7 and members of the San Francisco 49ers kneel during the national anthem prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.
Colin Kaepernick #7 and members of the San Francisco 49ers kneel during the national anthem prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.
Photo: Otto Greule Jr (Getty Images)

Black people aren’t stupid.

Contrary to whatever drivel the NFL and its legion of bigoted owners have tried to hide behind, we’re acutely aware that Colin Kaepernick was exiled from the NFL for protesting police brutality. And now, three removed from Kap’s showdown with the league, a former NFL executive is admitting what we already knew: that yes, Kap was blackballed for opening his black-ass mouth about black-ass issues in Trump’s America.

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In an op-ed published on CNN, Joe Lockhart, the former executive vice president of communications and government affairs for the NFL, spilled the tea on the interworkings of Kap’s exile. He maintains that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and other league execs attempted to persuade owners to sign Kap to no avail. He also stated that Kap’s decision to protest the national anthem drew minimal backlash until President Punk Ass stoked the flames.

The [2017] season started with very productive dialogue and work proceeding between the players and the league. That all changed on a Friday night in Alabama at a rally for Republican Senate candidate Luther Strange, where President Donald Trump called for kneeling players to be fired.

NFL owners should respond to those players “taking a knee” (who were overwhelmingly black) by saying “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired!” he told the crowd.

That one rally changed everything. Although Kaepernick had not been signed in the off season, players’ protests to that point were primarily off the field — not during the anthem or on the field during games. But starting the following Sunday, hundreds of players were now kneeling and a full-blown battle with the President was drawn.

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Lockhart then goes on to explain how having Kap in the league would negatively impact its bottom line and noted how one owner was interested in signing him but projected his team would lose roughly 20 percent of its season ticket holders.

That was a business risk no team was willing to take, whether the owner was a Trump supporter or a bleeding-heart liberal (yes, those do exist). As bad of an image problem it presented for the league and the game, no owner was willing to put the business at risk over this issue.

It’s difficult to appreciate Lockhart calling a thing a thing considering it’s very likely that he would’ve never come forward had George Floyd not lost his life at the hands of Minneapolis police officers—the very same thing Kap was exiled for raising awareness about. It’s also telling that Lockhart lays claim to being “righteous” for “making progress,” but after being on the opposite side of 400 years of suffering, who is he to identify what qualifies as progress?

In response to Lockhart’s column, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy offered the following statement: “Colin is a free agent. Clubs may sign him if they choose to do so.”

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So much for progress.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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