Filmmaker Spike Lee has announced a rally in support of Colin Kaepernick will be held outside NFL headquarters later this month. It promises to be a spectacle. Perhaps Lee will learn how to spell Kaepernick’s name by August 23rd. That silent “E” is a killer.
There’s legitimate debate to be had over whether this escalation of the controversy will help or hurt the unemployed quarterback’s cause.
On one hand, adding another ring to the circus seems like it would make bringing it into town even less attractive to an NFL owner. The hope, however slim, of trying to quietly bring Kaepernick in as a backup with a revamped attitude gets even less realistic when the public rallies start.
There’s also the very real fear that the rallies and pushback will continue if Kaepernick doesn’t see the field and remains in a backup role — if there’s reasonable question as to who should be the starter.
On the other hand, a physical rally of support is one way to ensure that people see Kaepernick has some support. The main argument against signing him, ostensibly, is that there will be massive public backlash. Why then wouldn’t the dissenting side offer a visual argument to the contrary? Even the biggest Kaepernick detractors can understand that motivation.
Perhaps more importantly is that hot-button issues and public protests have a certain ebb and flow to them. There’s a tennis-like quality where one camp serves and the other returns.
As long as Kaepernick remains unsigned, it’s his supporters who have the honors of putting the ball in play. It’s their time to ask why this is, to question motives and justice. Those on the other side of the aisle can rest easy knowing it will be their turn to drive the conversation when (if) a team decides to bring the quarterback in. The onus will be on them to push back on the move.
This, of course, is bad news for those who want the Kaepernick situation resolved one way or another without it dominating the news cycle for the forseeable future. Where there’s one rally, there’s usually another and another. It appears we are not yet approaching the terminus of this storyline.