The NFL’s Spartacus moment

Colin Kaepernick would be playing in the NFL if it weren’t for his views | RICK SALUTIN

On the non-metaphorical level, it’s clear Colin Kaepernick, if it weren’t for his protests during the U.S. anthem, would be playing in the NFL. The Cleveland Browns have run through 25 lesser quarterbacks in 18 years. This year they started with three, who’d never won an NFL game. They still haven’t.

Colin Kaepernick does not stand during the US National Anthem preceding the third preseason game on August 26, 2016. Instead, he quietly sat in front of the Gatorade coolers by himself, seemingly without anyone noticing.

Kaepernick just filed a grievance against team owners for colluding to exclude him due to his views. It’s so overt he shouldn’t be filing a grievance, he should be filing an axiom.

On the metaphorical level, it’s dazzling. It’s like the revolt of the gladiators — not literally, figuratively. But almost literally. Seventy per cent of NFL players are Black. They’re brought in from the provinces and inner cities to battle before vast crowds and get carried off while the elites in the boxes roar for more.

When one finally stands up, he inspires the others, like Spartacus among the slaves. That’s the scary moment for those in power. They say they’ll let the rest survive, if they surrender their leader.

Then there’s hockey’s role, they’re the other provincials, from more distant provinces. Unlike football or basketball players, only 5 per cent are Black. They agree to go to the White House.

But even Auston Matthews, just turned 20, says he probably wouldn’t protest himself but understands the right others have to do it.

Source: Toronto Star

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