Isaiah Crowell and Colin Kaepernick: A tale of two controversies
By Joel W. Cade
Athletes have a platform to make social change. Over the years, athletes have struggled with the realities of fame and social responsibility. From Charles Barkley’s famous, “I am not a role model” to Jim Brown’s working with inner city gangs, the way athletes have handled fame and social responsibility has varied.
Spiderman fans will remember the famous dictum, “with great power comes great responsibility.” If athletes chose to enter the social arena in order to affect change, they need to use their power responsibly. Crowell entered the social arena, after a long detour and found a way to make a positive change. Kaepernick is still seeking a way to make a positive change.
Other athletes have entered the social arena and made a difference. Warrick Dunn is a great example of this as his Warrick Dunn Charities partners with Habitat for Humanity to help single parent families obtain and keep housing. According to the Warrick Dunn Charities website, they have helped 150 families obtain housing over the past 19 years.
The self-proclaimed King of Pop, Michael Jackson, was correct about one thing: change starts with the man in the mirror. The best way to affect change in your world is to change yourself. If Kaepernick or any other athlete seeks change in this world, the first place to start is with themselves.
So far, Kaepernick has unsuccessfully sought change in the treatment of minorities by law enforcement. His efforts have achieved the exact opposite of what he intended to accomplish. It is time for Kaepernick to make a change himself.
He needs to follow in the footsteps of Dunn, Crowell, Jim Brown and countless athletes before him. Now that he has drawn attention to himself and his issue, he needs to take concrete actions within his community to build positive connections between minorities and law enforcement. He needs to take concrete steps to effect positive change.
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Kaepernick now has the platform and the attention, but will he take the steps necessary to change his world for good?