Race stands at the intersection of media and sports in America. If that truth has ever been in question, the events of the last week should erase all doubt.
First, we learned that a modern-day iteration of the Jim Crow-era radio show, “Amos ‘n Andy,” had been revived in Philadelphia. A white radio producer at Philadelphia’s 97.5 The Fanatic spent months calling the station’s most popular show as “Dwayne from Swedesboro,” a fake black character awash in racial stereotypes.
Then on Saturday, Colin Kaepernick, one of the National Football League’s few black quarterbacks, sat during the national anthem at a pre-season game in San Francisco. Asked to explain his actions, Kaepernick told NFL Media, “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.”
Kaepernick was roundly criticized as unpatriotic after taking that stand for blacks like Freddie Gray.
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Photo: Colin Kaepernick by Brook Ward/ Flickr Creative Commons