Category Archives: colin kaepernick

50th Anniversary: How Tommie Smith and John Carlos Used The Olympics to Show Black Power

Many millennials believe that the fight for civil rights, social justice and political power for people of color, started around The Black Lives Matter movement. This train of thought leads to the belief that athletes like Colin Kaepernick (and all those who have taken a knee with him) are the only ones to have used sports as a platform to peacefully protest against systemic violence against Black people. This (and they) would be wrong.

There has been a long history of sports figures using their celebrity to unapologetically smash white supremacy.

Paul Roberson did it with football. Arthur Ashe did this through tennis. Muhammad Ali did it in boxing, losing almost everything. 50 years ago today, Olympic champions Tommie Smith and John Carlos also used their moment in the sun to show Black solidarity and advocacy for their organization The Olympic Project for Human Rights on the biggest sports stage in the world.

Both Smith and Carlos, united by a decision to have their voice echoed in the ecstatic atmosphere of toxic white & western masculinity as portrayed in words of “The Star-Spangled Banner” that was being played as they received their awards, stood on the gold and bronze podiums with their single black-gloved fist in the air.

When asked why they decided to perform this Smith is said to have said, “We had to be seen because we couldn’t be heard.”

What was the jump off?

The Olympic Project for Human Rights (the organization that they belonged to) was an American organization that spoke out against racism in general, and specifically racial segregation in the United States and abroad (such as South Africa). Originally the group planned to do a total boycott against the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City unless four conditions were met. The group wanted two African nations that were under minority white rule (South African and Rhodesia) to be disinvited from the games. The group also wanted more African-American assistant coaches to be hired and for the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s president, Avery Brundage to step down. Lastly, they wanted Muhammad Ali’s world heavyweight boxing title to be restored.

But there were very serious domestic reasons why Black athletes would be outraged and ready to protest the Olympics, which was a symbol of world pride and excellence- particularly when so much was not right in it.

Malcolm X  was assassinated in 1965. In the summer of 1967, the Newark (5 days) and Detroit riots (8 days) ignited. April 4, 1968, The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.  The Autobiography of Malcolm X was released shortly after. The residue of Jim Crow was slow to dissolve. The promise of civil rights was met with broken handshakes and legislation. There were many reasons why the boycott was proposed.

One would be superstar held fast to the vow to boycott, a young Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He wrote in his book, Coach Wooden and Me, “My development as a basketball player paralleled my evolution as a social activist. The more confident and successful I was on the court, the more confident I felt about expressing my political convictions. That personal progression reached its most controversial climax in 1968 when I refused to join the Olympic basketball team. This started a firestorm of criticism, racial epithets, and death threats that people still ask me about today.”

Smith and Carlos did not support the boycott, though they supported the demands behind it. Had they not, used the opportunity to throw their fist in the air, perhaps generations after would have never known about the injustice happening on this international level.  Not only did they do that, but they took their shoes off to shine a light on the extreme levels of poverty throughout the world for Black and Brown people. Smith tied a black scarf around his neck as a token of Black pride. Carlos rocked beads around his neck to symbolize the strange fruit of Black bodies swinging from lynching trees. They even got the silver medalist to wear an OPHR button while he was getting his award. While many criticized them for breaking the boycott and participating in the game, they suffered tremendously for their actions… on levels comparable to Ali (the brother they actually was protesting about).

Abdul-Jabbar continues, “They (Smith & Carlos) returned home to angry criticism and death threats. At a time when Black leaders were routinely slaughtered, death threats were taken seriously.” It is hard to imagine now, but these men suffered just as great as the modern day, Kaepernick. They were called “treasonable Black rats,” “Black-skinned Stormtroopers” and said that they had not only disgraced the American flag and anthem, but also the institution of the Olympics.

Many thought they have misused the opportunity because it was a personal cause and not a national cause. Smith once said of this, “It wasn’t don’t for a malignant reason. It was only done to bring attention to the atrocities of which were experiencing in a country that was supposed to represent us.”

When further thinking about the sacrifice that they made, your thoughts are met with John Carlos’ own words from the book, The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed The World. Carlos echoes this sentiment when he said, “How can you ask someone to live in the world and not have something to say about injustice.”

Both are still alive and still doing the work.

 

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Simone Biles Cooks USA Gymnastics Chief For Anti-Kaepernick & Nike Stance

Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards 2017

Source: FayesVision/WENN.com / WENN

The entire world flipped on Nike after the company threw its support behind Colin Kaepernick in a new ad campaign that truly got under the skin of folks who misunderstood the purpose of his protests. Simone Biles found herself in the middle of the ongoing debate after she blasted USA Gymnastics President Mary Bono for putting her criticism of Nike out to the public and praising the military, proving she too missed the point of Kap’s kneeling during the National Anthem.

In a tweet that has since been deleted, Bono, who is serving as the interim president and CEO of USA Gymnastics, shared a photo of a pair of Nike golf shoes and the caption explained whose side she’s on perfectly.

“Playing in a charity golf tournament raising money for our Special Forces operators and their families. Unfortunately had these shoes in my bag. Luckily I had a marker in my bag too,” the caption read.

Biles quoted a photo of the tweet, adding in the caption, “Mouth drop. [D]on’t worry, it’s not like we needed a smarter usa gymnastics president or any sponsors or anything.”

Check out the tweets below.

Photo: WENN

Colin Kaepernick, Dave Chappelle To Receive W.E.B. Du Bois Medals At Harvard

2018 US Open - Day 5

Source: Elsa / Getty

Colin Kaepernick and Dave Chappelle will be honored today at Harvard University for their contributions to Black culture. The pair is among six others who will receive the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal from the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at the vaunted institution.

Page Six reports:

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and comedian Dave Chappelle are among eight people being saluted by Harvard University for their contributions to black history and culture.

All eight recipients of the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal will be honored Thursday afternoon by the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard.

Kaepernick, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers, created a firestorm when he began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality and social injustice.

The sold-out event takes place today (Oct. 11) at 11 AM EST. The full list of the honorees from the Hutchins Center’s website can be viewed below.

Dave Chappelle | Comedian & Actor
Kenneth I. Chenault (JD ’76) | Executive & Philanthropist
Shirley Ann Jackson | President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Pamela Joyner (MBA ’84) | Art Collector & Philanthropist
Colin Kaepernick | Athlete & Activist
Florence Ladd | Director Emerita of the Bunting Institute & Professor
Bryan Stevenson (JD ’85, MPP ’85, LLD ’15) | Founder / Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative
Kehinde Wiley | Artist

Photo: Getty

Colin Kaepernick Applies for Trademark on his Own Image

Inked Flash, Colin Kaepernick’s organization based out of California, has filed for a trademark from the administration on a black and white picture of the quarterback.

The trademark application was documented on October 5 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and it expresses that the picture is looked to be utilized for different merchandising items and not limited to “conducting workshops and seminars in self empowerment and awareness.”

Inked Flash as of now has two other trademark applications pending with the USPTO, for the expression “I’m With Kap” and hashtag adaptation #ImWithKap.

The previous quarterback has seen an ongoing resurgence because of his appearance in Nike’s 30th commemoration “Just Do It” campaign. He hasn’t played in the NFL since the 2016 season and is amidst a progressing conspiracy claim against the league.

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Kanye Calls HOT 97’s Ebro for Colin Kaepernick And ‘Plays Himself’

It seems that whenever we hear Ebro and Kanye in the same sentence, we know it is about to go left. And we are not talking politics.

Kanye reached out to Old Man Ebro via a mutual friend named T. Mills to beseech his assistance in coordinating a call between Colin Kaepernick to meet with Donald Trump. Over the last few days, Kanye has been making grand overtures to make this happen on social media and during televised interviews. Kap did exactly what most of his supporters believed he should have done: Paid him dust.

In what we hope is his last resort, Kanye gets the number from T. Mills and calls Ebro on his cell. All are grateful, because we know what happens when Kanye calls up to the radio station. It still went weird. Kanye shifted the request from hoping for a call, to wanting a meeting at The White House on Oct. 11th. Ebro shut that down with one statement, “Yeah, nah. We not doing that.” and to his listeners hit the DJ Khaled button that exclaimed, “You played yourself.”

Kanye could not understand why an invitation to Colin had to include Ebro. When Kanye (and T. Mills) tried to clear up that the invitation was to Colin Kaepernick and not the radio personality, Ebro answered firmly, “When it comes to Colin Kaepernick it is a ‘we.’ There are people standing with Colin Kaepernick, rallying around him. We are not doing that. Y’all think we are playing games.”

While there are a lot of reasons why Team Trump would want the former NFL player to meet with the POTUS (midterm elections are around the corner and this photo-op would send signals to thousands of impressionable voters who could be persuaded by the smoke and mirrors), many believe there is nothing beneficial to the Black and Brown community and the integrity of Kaepernick’s cause if he did.

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Watch: Hot 97’s Ebro Reveals Kanye West’s Latest Call To Him & Says Donald Trump Meeting Is A No-No

Ebro Darden

New York radio veteran Ebro Darden isn’t interested in Kanye West trying to unite Donald Trump and Colin Kaepernick. THe hip-hop personality has shared a personal conversation he recently had with Ye.

This week, Ebro revealed Kanye hit him up this week and pitched him on the idea of Colin and Donald meeting face-to-face.

The post Watch: Hot 97’s Ebro Reveals Kanye West’s Latest Call To Him & Says Donald Trump Meeting Is A No-No appeared first on SOHH.com.

Kanye West Wants To Get Colin Kaepernick & Donald Trump To Speak Face-To-Face

Kanye West

Grammy-winning rapper Kanye West wants to bring two worlds together. The hip-hop star has expressed his intention to unite Black Lives Matter activist Colin Kaepernick with President Donald Trump.

Ye went to Twitter Wednesday (October 3) to reveal his intention to have Colin and Donald chop it up.

A few days ago, West raised eyebrows after donning a Trump-inspired Make America Great Again hat and Colin Kaepernick-bearing sweater.

Recently, Trump ripped sports apparel giant Nike for using Kaepernick in its Just Do It campaign.

In mid-May, music veteran Lyor Cohen talked about Sean’s G.O.O.D. Music boss Kanye West posting a pic of himself donning a MAGA hat.

“Isn’t that scuba for when you’re in the water and you’re all good?” he said. “We were [in Calabasas] because Kanye wanted to play us some music. I was on the way to the restroom and there was Lucian and Kanye was coming out, and he said, ‘Oh wow, we’re all together. Let’s take a photo.’ I thought he was going to take a photo and send it to Lucian and myself. I had no idea that he was going to put that on social media.” (Pitchfork)

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Kanye West Wears Clothing Items That Supports Colin Kaepernick and ‘MAGA’ at the Same Time

Lately, we have seen a new Kanye West since he returned to his hometown of Chicago. Today, the rapper stopped by the Fader office and seems to be in the middle of Chicago Ye and “Sunken Place” Ye when he is seen in a Colin Kaepernick sweatshirt but a “Make America Great Again” Hat.

Images from inside The Fader office show Ye speaking to faculty members while dressed in both pieces just ahead of his Yandhi album.

Speaking of his forthcoming album, Kanye shared on Twitter he will push the album back to Saturday to make way for Lil Wayne to hold down the number one spot on the charts. I wonder how Logic feels about that.

Check out the tweet from inside The Fader office below.

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T.I. Gets Last Laugh At Anyone Upset At Nike’s Colin Kaepernick Campaign

T.I.

Grammy-winning rapper T.I. is loving all of the success Nike is enjoying right now. The King of the South has celebrated the iconic sports apparel brand’s stock soaring since launching its new Colin Kaepernick-featured campaign.

Tip went to Instagram this past weekend to geek out over the company’s massive success.

View this post on Instagram

UDIGG ✊🏽👑💪🏽🚫🧢

A post shared by TIP (@troubleman31) on

Earlier this month, NBA champion LeBron James celebrated Nike’s stock price nearing an all-time high.

View this post on Instagram

It’s not stopping!!!

A post shared by FunkFlex (@funkflex) on

As of mid-September, Nike stock went up over $80 for the first-time ever in its history.

Nike stocks closed at $83.47 Thursday for the first time ever just eight days after President Donald Trump declared that the company was “getting absolutely killed” because of “anger and boycotts” over its ad campaign. On Friday, shares closed in regular trading at $83.49, although the stock price slipped a bit in after-hours trading. (Huffington Post)

In addition to the stock leveling up, the iconic brand also experienced a huge jump in Instagram followers courtesy of the Kaepernick ad going viral.

Nike added roughly 170,000 Instagram followers around the timing of the release of its ad campaign, Wedbush Securities analyst Christopher Svezia said in a research note Friday. “Indeed, [Nike] management knows its American consumer well and the campaign featuring Mr. Kaepernick is a positive for the brand and likely its sales,” Svezia said. The company’s shares hit a record high of $83.90 on Thursday. Wedbush placed a 12-month price target of $90 a share on the stock. (CNBC)

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Nike Value Goes Up Nearly $6 Billion Since Colin Kaepernick Announcement, Stock Nears All-Time High

Colin Kaepernick Nike Ad

Sports apparel giant Nike is here to win, win, win, win. The iconic company’s stock has neared an all-time high and increased its value almost to $6 billion since announcing a surprise Colin Kaepernick-featured campaign.

According to reports, Nike is winning across the board with Kaepernick as the face of its Just Do It launch.

Nike shares have surged 36 percent on the year, making the company the top performer on the Dow’s index of 30 blue-chip stocks. The run-up includes a nearly 5 percent increase since Nike’s Labor Day announcement that Kaepernick would be featured in its campaign, adding nearly $6 billion to the company’s market value. The stock continues to hover near an all-time high, which it reached in mid-September only weeks after some Nike customers publicly burned their shoes to express their displeasure at the new ad. (CBS News)

Earlier this month, NBA champion LeBron James celebrated Nike’s stock price nearing an all-time high.

View this post on Instagram

It’s not stopping!!!

A post shared by FunkFlex (@funkflex) on

As of mid-September, Nike stock went up over $80 for the first-time ever in its history.

Nike stocks closed at $83.47 Thursday for the first time ever just eight days after President Donald Trump declared that the company was “getting absolutely killed” because of “anger and boycotts” over its ad campaign. On Friday, shares closed in regular trading at $83.49, although the stock price slipped a bit in after-hours trading. (Huffington Post)

In addition to the stock leveling up, the iconic brand also experienced a huge jump in Instagram followers courtesy of the Kaepernick ad going viral.

Nike added roughly 170,000 Instagram followers around the timing of the release of its ad campaign, Wedbush Securities analyst Christopher Svezia said in a research note Friday. “Indeed, [Nike] management knows its American consumer well and the campaign featuring Mr. Kaepernick is a positive for the brand and likely its sales,” Svezia said. The company’s shares hit a record high of $83.90 on Thursday. Wedbush placed a 12-month price target of $90 a share on the stock. (CNBC)

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