By Shaheem Reid
You don’t normally associate enigmatic MC Jay Electronica with sports, but the New Orleans mic master, like the rest of the world, has been paying close attention to the controversy surrounding National Football All Pro Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick of course, took a stance not to stand, first sitting, then kneeling in consecutive games during the playing of the National Anthem during his team’s games in protest of Police killings of unarmed Black people.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media in an post-interview a couple of weeks ago where he sat during the Anthem. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Never one to hold his tongue, Electronica spoke exclusive with REVOLT TV over last weekend during the Made In America Festival in Philadelphia, PA.
“First of all, let’s call a spade a spade,” Electronica said after a stage performance where dozens of his fans stormed the stage at his request. “Whether you stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance or sit down, that shit is so minute. Who gives a fuck anyway? Who gives a fuck. Muthafuckas got chemtrails, lead in the water in Flint, [Michigan]… All of the real issues in the world, muthafuckas take the issue of Colin Kaepernick not standing up for the National Anthem, that's petty as a muthafucka. That's very small, okay. And we with him, we agree with him, and we with him. I don't salute the [American] flag. We respect every flag of every nation, right? But I don’t represent what that [American] flag represents. That flag represents slavery, oppression of me and my people. We've been here long from experience enough to know what it represents. This ain’t philosophy, this ain’t my own crazy ideas, this is generational experience. 400 long years experience.”
While any fans, athletes and NFL executives have spoken out against Kaepernick’s decision, he has also gained a swell of support. U.S. Soccer star Megan Rapinoe recently knelt down before one of her team’s game; Spike Lee and comedian D.L. Hughely have both spoken out publicly; Seattle Seahawks Jeremy Lane sat down during the National Anthem before a preseason game last week and said he will continue to do so; and his teammates Doug Baldwin and Cliff Avril both said they're considering joining the protest. Both Trey Songz and J. Cole jerseys during recent separate performances and, in fact, the Kaepernick jersey has become the number one selling NFL jersey.
“We stand with Collin Kaepernick,” Electronica added. “All these other muthafuckas talking that shit, 'Oh, he shouldn't have done it that way,’ get off the coon train. Stop being like Samuel L. Jackson in Django [Unchained], and get off the gotdamn coon train. Time for the coon train is over.”
Although the 49ers don’t play until Sunday, The NFL season kicked off last night in Denver, CO as a rematch of the Super Bowl with the defending champion Denver Broncos narrowly edging out the Carolina Panthers in a 21-20 comeback victory. Before the game even started, Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall showed his support for the polarizing Quarterback of the San Fransisco 49ers. And Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
Even President Obama has shown his support of Kaepernick’s decision to exercise his First Amendment right.
"I gotta confess that I haven't been thinking about football while I've been over here and I haven't been follow this closely," Obama said Monday during a news conference at the conclusion of the G20 summit in China. "But my understanding, at least, is that is he's exercising his constitutional right to make a statement. I think there's a long history of sports figures doing so.”
"As a general matter, when it comes to the flag the national anthem and the meaning that holds for our men and women in uniform and those who've fought for us -- that is a tough thing for them to get past to then hear what his deeper concerns are,” the President continued. "But I don't doubt his sincerity. I think he cares about some real, legitimate issues that need to be talked about and if nothing else what he's doing has generated more conversation around some topics that need to be talked about."
"I'd rather have young people engaged in the argument and trying to think through how they can be part of our democratic process than those who are just sitting on the sidelines."
About Obama’s remarks, Kaepernick said Wednesday after practice, "He’s someone that also realizes there’s many issues that need to be addressed and need changing in this country. I think a lot of the initial shock of what the protest is about and the kind of significance of that was lost in the action and the message wasn’t really addressed. I think that was great that he came out and supported the message, that we do need to make changes in these areas."
Meanwhile, the Bleacher Report recently spoke to seven NFL executives and all said they wouldn’t want Kaep playing for their team. One called him a “traitor” while another had the audacity to say Kaep is the most hated player since former Panther wide receiver Ray Caruth killed his pregnant girlfriend. To which Electronica says: “Fuck them NFL executives. Who are they anyway?” Fumed Electronica described Kaepernick as a “brave Young God.”
“They ain’t nothing but ‘sport and play,’” Elect added. “The Holy Koran says that Satan has built this world off sport and play. The NFL is sport and play. Whether a football team wins or loses a game, that don't change your life. That don't put food in your stomach. That don't have no effect on your children’s future.”