The country is in turmoil and sports seem like the least important thing right now. However, there is some relevance to what's been happening around the United States recently and something that happened in sports a few years ago. The Houston Chronicle highlighted that reality with a powerful cover photo on their Sunday sports section.
Imagining a world where we focused on what Kaepernick was advocating for and not what he did, the Houston Chronicle skillfully weaves sports into the current state of society. It isn't easy to do. Outside of players commenting on the protests or Jaylen Brown joining them, sports don't feel connected to the more important issues we're all now grappling with. And yet, as sports writers and editors, we still need to put content out there to either inform readers or entertain them. This was a wonderful way of advocating for change from a sports perspective.
When Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the national anthem in 2016, many were outraged at the perceived lack of respect for our country and the heroes that have scarified their lives to defend it. Similar to what's happening now, the Black Lives Matter movement started around then following the death of African Americans at the hands of police officers. Kaepernick was taking a knee in a sign of protest and to raise awareness. However, his message was overshadowed by his action and the debate about whether it was appropriate for him to kneel or not.
Would things be different now if what he was protesting was discussed more and whether he was wrong for kneeling was discussed less? Perhaps. Athletes can trigger change in the country. They have that amount of power. But not living in hypotheticals, the most important thing now is to remember why he was protesting and make sure we have those conversations now and real change comes from them. Thanks to the Houston Chronicle for the reminder.