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What the Kaepernick protest tells us about black power and money!

James Clingman | 9/30/2016, 9 a.m.
Why can’t more of us see that economics is the key to our freedom and the answer to the problems ...
NFL star Colin Kapernick says he would not honor a song nor "show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."

— ''It's well known through the league that there may be repercussions if you speak out too strongly on some sensitive issues,'' said Buck Williams, head of the players association at that time. “I don't know if Hodges lost his job because of it, but it is a burden when you carry the militant label he has.”

Ironically and unfairly, during that same period, stars like Dennis Rodman and Charles Barkley, both known for doing outrageous things, were tolerated and even celebrated. Craig Hodges stood on his beliefs as did Denver Nuggets star, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, formerly known as Chris Jackson, who was probably second only to Michael Jordan on the offensive end of the basketball court.

Long before Kaepernick, Abdul-Rauf refused to stand for the National Anthem, and when he did, he prayed. This outstanding NBA player converted to Islam and soon after his conversion his NBA career came to a screeching halt. Both Hodges and Abdul-Rauf were vilified and sanctioned by the NBA for having the courage to stay true to their social, religious, and ethical convictions. Unfortunately, they stood alone for the most part. Their teammates and even the great Elgin Baylor turned their backs on him. I call that cowardly.

If just half of the black players in the NBA and the NFL would do as the University of Missouri players did, refuse to play just two games back to back, they would change those leagues. Money rules. Of course, it takes sacrifice, but isn’t it worth it? Hodges and Abdul-Rauf did, and they lost a great deal for their willingness to take a stand. They stood alone; a critical mass of black athletes, standing together can win.