Updated: September 11, 2016


Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Staff Reporter


OAKLAND, CA.-Since the controversy, the Kaepernick number seven jersey has become the third best-selling item of Niner gear behind the  jerseys of Montana and Rice. His protest has turned heads, and it seems like a silent majority are agreeing with Kaepernick’s stance. They also helped to make his promised million-dollar donation to various charities a little easier on his wallet. Nationally his number seven jersey has jumped from number 20 to number one. Mr. Kaepernick has continued to bolster the fires on the discussion about the National Anthem.

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National Football League Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown stated many years ago when a player is willing to forfeit his salary and career for a cause his heart is true. Colin Kaepernick with his 1970’s Black Power-Pride Afro has stepped up to the plate to speak words of wisdom to the United States.

America still does not know how to talk to an educated Black man nor an angry Black man. Have you noticed America backed off of Professor Harry Edwards, Jim Brown, P.K. Subban, Barry Bonds, and now LeBron James;  interesting.


America runs to African Americans that will be on their side of the issue, Blacks that have forgotten their history like Jerry Rice who is a HBCU graduate from Mississippi Valley State University   who states “that Kaepernick should find another way to express himself”, but gives no advise as to how to do it. Rice also states “All lives matter. So much going on in this world today. Can we all just get along! Colin I respect your stance but don’t disrespect the Flag.”


Question, Does Jerry Rice have a conscience? What has he done to remove the Confederate flag as part of the state flag of Mississippi?


What has Mr. Rice done about the racial issues in the Bayview-Hunters Point section of San Francisco?


Singer-actor, Harry Belafonte could not have put it any better. ” To mute the slave has always been to the best interests of the slave owner. When those Black voices who are raised in protest to oppression. Those who are most comfortable with that oppression are the one that cry out the loudest for daring to speak out against that oppression.” This is what has happened to Colin Kaepernick the most critical words have come from African American males.


Then Mr. Kaepernick sent millions of Americans to the internet and the city libraries to find information about the verses of the National Anthem. The Third stanza came into question by many African Americans and it has become a national debate.
THE THIRD VERSE – you decide whether it is racist or not. Mr. Kaepernick has raised the question. Decide whether African Americans should be standing for this song that might be demeaning them. As children we were told to say the pledge of allegiance and stand for the National Anthem but teachers never really told students the reason, WHY? Every student did so because we were supposed to. Americans also raised their hands to the flag in the now infamous Nazi salute until 1942. The German Third Rich started doing it, America dropped the tradition. Wonder why?


Americans changed in 1942 and put their hand over their hearts and that has stood the test of time. One of my teachers stated it was tradition, so was slavery tradition, Jim Crow laws and segregation too. Slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation retired and maybe this third verse of the anthem needs to be retired too. Southern Americans do not want to forget the Confederate Flag and the confrontations in South Carolina.


Question? why is full version of the National Anthem never played?  Was this an attempt to hide that controversial third verse? and maybe that’s why it took 100 years for it to become our national song.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore

That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion

A home and a Country should leave us no more?

Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.

No refuge could save the hireling and slave

From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

 There are historians (notably Robin Blackburn, author of The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, 1776-1848, and Alan Taylor, author of “American Blacks in the War of 1812“), who have indeed read the stanza as glorying in the Americans’ defeat of the Corps of Colonial Marines, one of two units of Black slaves recruited between 1808 and 1816 to fight for the British on the promise of gaining their freedom.

Like so many of his compatriots, Francis Scott Key, the wealthy American lawyer who wrote “The Star Spangled Banner” in the wake of the Battle of Fort McHenry on 14 September 1814, was a slaveholder who believed Blacks to be “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.” It goes without saying that Key did not have the enslaved Black population of America in mind when he penned the words “land of the free.” It would be logical to assume, as well, that he might have harbored a special resentment toward African Americans who fought against the United States on behalf of the King.

Was Key, a Lieutenant in the Army, still bitter that some Black soldiers got the best of him a few weeks earlier? “The Star-Spangled Banner” is as much a patriotic song as it is a diss track to Black people who had the audacity to fight for their freedom?

Colin Kaepernick has opened the door for Americans to have a conversation about this verse.



The quarterback is the face of the organization, the voice of the organization and the leader. Some organizations in 2016 do not want that face to be a person of color.  John Elway and Eli Manning used this privilege on their draft day. Mr. Elway told the Baltimore Colts that he would not play for them and would opt out to play baseball with the New York Yankees. Likewise, Eli Manning told the San Diego Chargers the same thing, only he would sit out a year and re-enter the draft the next year.

Now think when was the last time an African American challenged the NFL. That Black player would not play another down in the league.

Then we have to ask the next question why some fans are burning Kaepernick’s jersey all over the country. What did he do to them? Is racial bigotry and hate that deep in this country?

It is o.k. for presidential candidate Donald J. Trump to blast minorities, women, gay, and the disabled, anybody he does not like, but Mr. Kaepernick cannot stand up for those very same individuals?

Colin wants to make America a better place and some football fans respond by burning his jersey. Just as Oklahoma City Fans burned Kevin Durant’s jersey after he went to Golden State and Miami and Cleveland fans burned LeBron James jerseys after he switched cities.

Question, when is the last time sports fans burned a Caucasian player’s jersey, NEVER !!!!


 For some reason individuals are falling back on the “not Black enough” issues because of  number seven’s mixed heritage and the way  he was raised. He had white parents, who adopted him and gave him his last name. He lived in an affluent household and an affluent community.

Other Black players have also stated he is not Black enough because of his half white heritage. He does not know the hardships African Americans males face each day. REALLY?


In the United States of America if you have one once of Black blood legally you are classified as African American. So what’s your point safety Rodney Harrison of the New England Patriots and Stanford graduate and New England Patriot Jordan Richards? Harrison and Richards stated Kaepernick has no idea what’s it’s like to be an African American. This is truly Black on Black crime because these two players have no idea how Colin Kaepernick has lived his life.

Three years ago reporters called number seven a thug because of his tattoos all over his body not knowing that those tats were all Bible verses. Then they were critical of Colin for wearing his hat backwards at press conferences. Guess some of those reporters must have forgotten that Aaron Rogers-Green Bay, Tony Romo-Dallas, Matt Stafford-Detroit, Tom Brady-New England and Big Ben Roethlisberger-Pittsburgh all have pictures with their hats on backwards.

Colin has his own stories of discrimination on campus. He stated two University of Nevada-Reno campus police officers busted into his dorm room with their guns drawn. Kaepernick and his roommate were moving from one dorm to another for the next semester. HIS ROOMMATE WAS ALSO BLACK so somebody called the police thinking they were stealing. Can we all say STEREOTYPE?

If the United States media and public stay true to form they will follow the historical pattern of trying to destroy the message and the messenger. Instead of debating, understanding, thinking, and discussing the hard true issues this young man has brought. These entities will not try because it does not benefit them. Mr. Kaepernick has put forth great new ideas but these entities will try to sabotage, slander, or defame this modern day hero.

This what Colin Kaepernick wants America to change, the misconception of race, class, and gender. Will America let him finish the job?

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Number seven now walks, oh, I mean sits down the halls of history with Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Carlos and Smith, and Curt Flood.


Special thanks to








Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com



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