San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a bold stance this past week by announcing his decision to sit during the singing of the National Anthem during the pre-game ceremonies in protest of the dominant society’s mistreatment of Melanoid people. As expected, white supremacists have lashed out from every angle imaginable–from social media, to offline, where many of his “fans” have taken to burning their Kaepernick jerseys–that had he not stepped forward to address systematic racism/white supremacy in this country–they would have likely continued to wear them proudly on gamedays in sports bars and living rooms everywhere.
The following video is a compilation of suspected white supremacist fans who have decided to record themselves on video burning the the Black QB’s jersey. Judging off of the video’s “like/dislike” ratio, one can see that this (Kaepernick’s jersey burning) is well received by a large number of viewers on a grand scale.
The burning of Colin Kaepernick’s jersey isn’t new. As a matter of fact, it has become a trending activity that suspected white supremacist sports fans engage in when their favorite Black superstar athletes ‘get out of place’. Perhaps the most notable jersey burning ceremony took place in 2010, when white fans in Cleveland took to the streets in a belligerent manner to burn their Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James jerseys after he made his famous ‘Decision’ to leave the Cavs by signing with the Miami Heat that summer.
Shortly before the white supremacist sports fans’ outrage against Kaepernick ensued a few days ago, NBA superstar Kevin Durant–who played for the Oklahoma City Thunder for nearly a decade–signed with the Golden State Warriors as a free agent this past summer (2016). The video below shows fans giving Durant the same treatment:
In the eyes of many, the notion of these fans burning jerseys of their favorite players can be written off as an act of passionate sports fans heartbroken and angry. In reality, this trend contains heavy racial undertones. Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant are all blessed with otherworldly athletic abilities, they are great teammates, and more importantly, they are upstanding citizens whose faces we’ve never seen in mugshots. However, this does not matter to white supremacists.
The issue that the dominant society has with the aforementioned athletes is that they are well-to-do Black men who either:
a) They prioritize their own best business interests over the selfish wants of their white supremacist fans
b) They’ve used their platform to openly address serious matters that affect Black Society
c) They do both.
This has always posed a problem among white supremacists, who’d rather see nothing more than Black athletes–and non athletes alike– stay in their places by doing nothing to empower themselves economically, socially, etc. Instead of deploying lynch mobs to burn down great Black communities such as Tulsa, Oklahoma or Rosewood, Florida, they’ve utilized that same lynch mob mentality to burn jerseys of Black athletes who…decide to take their lives into their own hands.