“First they love you, then they hate you, then they love you again.”

-Jay Z “Meet the Parents”

There is probably no other fitting way to describe Jay-Z, and the way society treats its own heroes. This was the intro to one of my favorite Jay-Z songs, “Meet The Parents,” back in 2001. In hindsight, it’s an accurate depiction of how we love to seepeople rise to the top, just to watch their downfall. Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z, is unfortunately going through one of those hate filled phases. 

The Colin Kaepernick saga’s newest development is a huge win for the advocate and his supporters. There was also a third winner involved, and in my opinion it should be of no surprise. That third party is none other than the shoe company who I’ve credited as always being on the right side of the issue. Nike yet again made it clear that they are a forward thinking company, with a full endorsement for Kaep and the issues that he’s fought so hard to bring awareness to.

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All eyes and ears have been paying attention to what’s going on in the NFL. Viewership has been down from a season ago, due to multiple protests and boycotts of the NFL for opposite reasons. The NFL and fans alike are fundamentally a part of a civil war of sorts, where one side is protesting and choosing to kneel during the national anthem, locking arms, or placing their hands on the shoulders of their teammates who choose to take a knee. This comes at a time where racial injustice in America has caused a massive divide among citizens, and has spilled over into the world of sports.

The stars of today have been more vocal in their support for the fight against racial inequality and police brutality that Colin Kaepernick originally decided to take a knee for. Majority of the guys who have been participating are doing so to bring awareness to the hypocrisy of the country when it comes to social injustice and police brutality, piggybacking on the Colin Kaepernick protest. While the other side is going as far as burning season tickets, jerseys, and other team paraphernalia based on their favorite team’s participation in the protest. Their feeling is that it’s disrespectful to the flag, the military, and the country altogether.

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There’s been a lot of discussion about whether or not it’s an athlete’s place to stand up for sociopolitical issues. Some people feel it’s not their place, while others feel it’s their obligation given the fact that their platform allows them to be able to reach the masses unlike the average citizen. There’s been talks of possibly tainting their legacy, but taking a look at history, the athletes who did fight for issues particularly black athletes, they’re often held on a higher pedestal. From Jim Brown, to Bill Russell, To Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, their stance arguably made them more important historical figures. The same can be said for John Carlos and Tommie Smith who’s black leather gloved fists remain one of the Olympics most memorable moments. And of course we remember the late great Muhammad Ali and his refusal to fight in Vietnam, and being incarcerated in his prime because of that. This football season, in addition to all of the eagerness to watch what’s happening on the field and keeping track of your fantasy stats, there will be more attention than usual placed on a few guys while still on the sidelines. One of which is Colin Kaepernick.