Isaiah Crowell and Colin Kaepernick: A tale of two controversies
By Joel W. Cade
Once the problem is perceived, what is the best way to address the issue? The problem of police brutality against minorities was addressed by Crowell and Kaepernick in two very different ways. My criterion for evaluating the responses is effectiveness. How well did each response effectively bring awareness to the issue and bring about positive change?
Some will argue that Kaepernick is in his rights to sit through the national anthem. I agree. He also has a right to do what he chooses to bring awareness to his cause. People have the right to agree or disagree with those actions.
He also has the right to live with the consequences of those actions. His actions have had the unintended consequence of raising tensions between Kaepernick, his employer, and the law enforcement community. This is not what Kaepernick wanted when he sat through the national anthem.
Kaepernick sought to bring awareness to the issue of police brutality against minorities by sitting through the national anthem. Why bring awareness to an issue if not to bring about positive change? In some way, shape or form Kaepernick wants to see his issue get better.
While he pledged to donate $1 million to groups that help people affected by the issues he is trying to spotlight, right now, his actions are not helping the issue. They are potentially making the issue worse by increasing, not alleviating, the tensions between the parties involved.
Crowell, either by choice or by the urging of the Browns front office, chose to take actions that will help bring positive change. He visited the Dallas Police Department. He listened to them and vice versa. He opened a dialogue and chose to work with the police to create a better situation. He acknowledged his actions were a part of the problem and vowed to be a part of the solution.
Crowell’s actions brought awareness combined with concrete actions to work for resolution. On the other hand, Kaepernick’s actions brought awareness to himself, not his cause, with no real concrete plan to make the situation better.
Something needs to change.
Next: Make that Change