Sports commentator Jason Whitlock is notorious for taking up residence in the Sunken Place, but his recent rant has taken it to a whole other level.
While guest-hosting the sports radio show The Herd, he brought up recent comments made by Joe Montana, agreeing with the football icon that Colin Kaepernick isn’t being blackballed by the league for his past protests. They believe he lacks talent.
“This is not about race,” he stressed. (Just like he tried to say LeBron James doesn’t experience racism because he is wealthy)
Whitlock made matters worse when he went off a caller who dared to say that Kaepernick’s protests were “selfless.”
“You can have that point of view. There are others, like myself, who think he I doing this for himself. That this is about working through his identity issues and building the Kaepernick brand. I disagree with you. You can have your opinion, but there are those of us who think he started this trying to build his own brand. It wasn’t really about the country,” he balked.
The caller then asked Whitlock if he thought there was another way that Kaepernick could have gotten the same amount of attention around the issue.
Whitlock sounded even crazier:
“Abed, let me ask you this: Why do you think attention is some great solution? Oh, you gotta have attention. A lot of progress is made quietly, and the kind of progress he’s talking about is going to have to happen in Congress and with our lawmakers in order to improve the things he’s talking about, or I think he’s talking about.”
When pressed on whether or not there is a perfect way to protest racism in this country, Whitlock snapped:
“This whole “Let’s take on racism in America.” That’s so big; that’s the equivalent of “Let’s fight air in the world.” Racial bigotry and unfairness along racial lines has been in the world since the beginning of time. It’s not going to go away. We’re trying to fix people’s feelings. And I don’t think what Kaepernick understands—and some other people don’t understand—is the 1960s were about changing, fixing laws.
In America, you can address laws; you can’t legislate feelings—and it’s stupid! Because once you start legislating feelings, the next thing you know, they’re legislating my feelings, my father’s feelings. And it’s not the right thing to do. It can’t be done. It will lead to anarchy and rebellion. You can’t start legislating people’s feelings. And, again, many of my feelings are inappropriate. I don’t want them legislated against.”
First off, Kaepernick wasn’t taking a knee to ease anyone’s feelings— he was taking a knee to protest a country that claims its built on the notions of equality and freedom, yet rarely delivers that to Black and Brown people. Second, just because racism has been around for a long time doesn’t mean we should just sit back and do nothing about it.
Finally: What Kaepernick did wasn’t about building a brand. It was about using his visibility and position to take a stand and make a crucial statement about police brutality and injustice, which is a hell of a lot more than what Whitlock is doing with his platform.
Listen to the back and forth below: