On Sunday afternoon, Colin Kaepernick knelt for the national anthem before another game. On Monday, video went public of unarmed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher being shot to death by Tulsa police, as he walked beside his stalled car with his hands clearly raised. Kaepernick responded to it on Twitter several times that day. His point was being made for him in the most horrific way, a graphic example of the police brutality against citizens of color he told America from Day One was the primary target of his protest.
As of Tuesday morning, his critics across the sports world the last three weeks had said of the Tulsa video … absolutely nothing.
Thunderous silence. Complete absence from the discussion. Utter lack of interest in a full-color, blood-soaked illustration of the very issue they obstructed and deflected in their rush to condemn Kaepernick and his method of protest.
Trent Dilfer, who said Kaepernick’s job as the second-stringer is “to be quiet?” So far, Dilfer is quiet.
Tony LaRussa, who “really question(s) the sincerity” of Kaepernick? Nothing.
Drew Brees, who declared that Kaepernick was free to protest, but actually was not free to protest? Nothing.
Tony Stewart, who said Kaepernick shouldn’t “run his dumbass mouth” about the police? Nothing.
Jerry Rice, who tweeted “All Lives Matter” about Kaepernick’s protest? Nothing.
Nothing from Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, who had backpedaled quickly from saying he didn’t “respect the motivation.” Nothing from Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, who defended his position with one of the all-time manglings of Martin Luther King’s mission.
Nothing from Jerry Jones, Jay Gruden, Ben McAdoo or Jeff Fisher, who were crystal-clear about how they expected their players to act as the anthem was being played, regardless of their individual feelings.
Nothing from Rodney Harrison and his opinions on Kaepernick’s parentage. Nothing from Alex Boone, who said he “would have had a problem on the sideline” if he was still his teammate. Nothing from Joel Dreessen, who was ready to “stomp on his toes” to get him to stand.
Nothing from Paul Finebaum, who had to apologize for saying on-air that “this country is not oppressing black people.” Nothing from Boomer Esiason, who called Kaepernick a “disgrace.”
Nothing from Ben Roethlisberger or Victor Cruz or Justin Pugh or Steve Weatherford.
Of course, this was only as of mid-morning Tuesday. Millions across the nation had already been sickened and angered by Crutcher’s killing and had made the hashtag #TerenceCrutcher trend. And, to be fair, Kaepernick’s actions have hardly been confined to the sports world.
So … nothing on the latest video from Kate Upton, who called the protests on opening weekend “horrific.’’
Nothing from Kid Rock, either. Nothing from Rob Lowe. Nothing from Dave Navarro. Nothing from James Woods. Nothing from Donald Trump.
And from Rep. Lee Zeldin, U.S. congressman from Long Island, who somehow linked Kaepernick to the terrorist bombings in New York and New Jersey?
Which is strange. Because many of them insisted that they understand the point Kaepernick was making, but …