News & Politics

'Black Lives Matter' National Anthem Protester Colin Kaepernick Cries Islamophobia

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick answers questions at a news conference after an NFL preseason football game against the Green Bay Packers Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. Green Bay won the game 21-10. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Social Justice Warriors seem to have something in common: they keep mixing up which allegedly oppressed group they’re offended for. Colin Kaepernick, second-string quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, made headlines late last month by refusing to stand for the National Anthem at a preseason game. He was protesting the alleged oppression of “black people and people of color.” This week, he’s pointing the finger at “Islamophobia.”

Kaepernick shot down rumors that he had converted to the religion of his girlfriend, Islam, and that his girlfriend had led him to protest social injustices. In denying those rumors, he also decided to attack the motivation behind them.

“I think that [rumor of conversion] comes along with people’s fear of this protest, as well as Islamophobia in this country,” Kaepernick said on Wednesday, USA Today reported. “People are terrified of them to the point where Trump wants to ban all Muslims from coming here, which is ridiculous.”

“I have great respect for the religion, know a lot of people that are Muslim and are phenomenal people,” he added. The rumor came from news outlets reporting that Kaepernick was dating a Muslim girl — a fact he does not dispute. He did dispute the idea that she alone was responsible for convincing him to protest the National Anthem.

“This is an open discussion that I have with many people, not just my woman,” the NFL player explained. “She is Muslim, her family is Muslim, I have great respect for them. I have great respect for people’s right to believe what they want to believe. And I don’t think anybody should be prosecuted for [sic] judged based on what their beliefs all [sic].”

The player also suggested that his fellow NFL players are afraid to speak out in support of his decision to protest. “I think there are a lot of players that feel the same way. They’re just nervous about consequences that come with it and a lot of them have families to feed, and I think that’s a tragic situation where players aren’t comfortable speaking what’s really on their mind and what’s right because they’re afraid of consequences that come along with it,” he said.

He again repeated the idea that “oppression” is behind the kind of attention he has received for his protest. “That’s not an ideal for anybody and I think it also speaks to the oppression and culture that we have here where if you don’t fall in line then we’re going to get you out.”

Next Page: Where’s the oppression?

As PJ Media’s own Rick Moran noted, “Kaepernick has a perfect right to be an idiot. It is unfortunate he has no idea of the real meaning of ‘oppression.’ Real oppression is standing up and saying you’re oppressed and then being taken out back and executed.”

Black Lives Matter complains about the systemic “oppression” of black people, and points to instances of black people being shot by police officers. A few of these instances are indeed legitimate concerns, but the movement often unleashes its fury before even the preliminary facts are in (witness Milwaukee), and continues grievance in the face of multiple investigations proving the falsehood of the original uproar (the infamous “Hands up, don’t shoot,” never happened.).

When Kaepernick, who has not been sanctioned or punished by the NFL in any way, goes on to speak about “oppression” and a culture where “if you don’t fall in line then we’re going to get you out,” he becomes increasingly divorced from reality. Has Kaepernick been kicked out? What’s behind this fear-mongering?

Instead of pointing to what real oppression would look like, Kaepernick resorts to attacking false rumors that he has converted to Islam as evidence of the dire threat of “Islamophobia.” Sorry, but fringe websites suggesting that you converted to your girlfriend’s religion do not constitute “oppression.”

If Black Lives Matter is the movement which cries “racism,” Kaepernick is the celebrity who cried “Islamophobia.” This is not to say there are not legitimate concerns that some blacks are wrongfully targeted and that some Muslims are mistrusted more than they should be. But both Black Lives Matter and Kaepernick have rushed to judgement and cried “oppression” in cases where there is no oppression. That’s not what you do if you want to be taken seriously.