Amid the sports media reports on LeBron James and other athletes expressing outrage over the killing of George Floyd, the New York Daily News, Deadspin and the New Jersey Advocate featured excuses for the violent rioting.
Sarah Valenzuela’s story in the New York Daily News focused on former NFL player Colin Kaepernick blatantly defending the riots and the arson:
“Sports’ leading racial justice advocate is done calling for peace.
“Colin Kaepernick offered his condolences on Thursday for 43-year-old George Floyd–a black man who died while in police custody–and shared his support of the riots and violent protests happening in Minneapolis.”
Kaepernick threw gasoline on the fires with this damning tweet:
Valenzuela writes that since 2016, Kaepernick’s year of anthem protests and his final year of pro football, “he’s called for nothing but peaceful demonstrations against the long-standing systemic injustice that black and brown people face in the United States.” He’s “echoing the sentiments of an entire community of Americans frustrated by the lack of accountability.
“Demonstrations, both peaceful and not, have continued across the country, demanding justice. Real justice,” Valenzuela adds, seemingly unconcerned about Kaepernick advocating for lawlessness.
New Jersey Advance writer Todderick Hunt writes similarly of Kaepernick’s despicable tweet, rationalizing that his defense of violence is merely a matter of impatience:
“Colin Kaepernick has been the face of peaceful protests for the past four years, but as black men are continually being murdered by police officers in the U.S., his patience has worn thin. Like many other citizens of this country who reject the racism and bigotry that accompanies our news cycle each day.”
Straining credibility, Hunt continues: “Kaepernick isn’t evoking violence, here, but a response to violence. He’s not advocating the looting or destruction of community. He’s expressing the need for the oppressed to defend themselves, including during protests, in these strange times. Because, depending on the human decency and integrity of those put in place to protect citizens, has proven a losing battle for some.”
Deadspin’s Donovan Dooley takes a shot at “white billionaire” Glen Taylor, owner of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, in excusing civil unrest. Taylor did an interview with Yahoo! Sports and said that while some people peacefully reacted to the killing, others did not and it’s hurting the community. “I’m just hopeful that people will just send their message through prayer and silent demonstrations,” Taylor remarked.
Dooley reacted by saying, “The protests are only an attempt to be seen and heard by the same institutions that have ignored the concerns of black community for centuries. While damaging and looting our own communities can cause more detrimental effects, the acts are based out of the frustration of being silenced for so long.”
Excusing away the violence, Dooley says “without the destruction and chaos, it’s easy to ignore the pain black people in America feel. It’s easy to dismiss the actions of police as just the cost of policing, or a case of poor training.”
Only after writing those incendiary comments, Dooley says there’s a way to get “our issues” addressed without causing destruction. That’s through boycotts, empowering black businesses and punishing government services and white-owned businesses that don’t promote equality, he writes.
One final note: a HipHollywood video enthsiastically declares that Kaepernick is ready to revolt.
Rioting and rancor will not improve race relations, not on the street or through the inexcusable media reports cited above.