Colin Kaepernick: Why starting for the 49ers is “representing for the culture”

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Colin Kaepernick was already holding the fort down “for the culture” unlike any backup player ever has.

When San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly announced he was replacing ineffective starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert with the anthem protesting former starter in Kaepernick, the fort became a more challenging stronghold to protect.

There is a certain unspoken village practice of many African Americans feeling a vested personal interest in rooting for or supporting certain black related phenomena.

Supporting the phenomena is seen as a way for African Americans to reaffirm ourselves in the world as a proud and successful people.

It’s called “the culture,” and anything or anyone African Americans choose to root for or support in those roles is considered to be “representing for the culture.”

Many African Americans root for the black family to win Family Feud. Blacks rooted for Tiger prior to his downfall.

Rooted for Cam Newton to win the Super Bowl (then he became the Manchurian quarterback).

Roots for Serena Williams with her beautiful black curves and strong body. Participates in the Black Twitter takeover on shows like Scandal, Blackish, and Luke Cage.

We cheer for the high school senior who was accepted into every ivy league college.

We claim black girl magic for the Simones, Michelle Carter, and the US women’s track team.

We collectively bow at the feet of the church of Bey. We relish and adore the chocolate beauty of Lupita Nyong’o.

We were the community of soothsayers knowing disrespect of President Obama would lead to a candidate like Donald Trump. We also come together to celebrate Obama’s black cool and look to he and Michelle as role models for our families.

And the only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace.

It’s all for the “culture.”

Colin Kaepernick finds himself firmly thrust front and center of representing, as 74% of African Americans approve of his protest. Meanwhile 63% of whites disapprove.

The large disapproval is all the more reason to root for Kaepernick.

Before starting, Kaepernick was admired for kneeling and risking the negative impact on his playing career.

The stakes have been raised.

With the amount of racial stereotypes still attributed to a black quarterback running an NFL team, the tensions riding on Kap’s play becomes doubly important.

So Kap, go out on the field and ball. Many African American fans who would never root for the 49ers now find themselves donning #7. Kap leading the NFL in jersey sales is proof.

Represent for the culture. These black fists are up for you.


Exavier B. Pope I, Esq. is an award-winning attorney, on-air legal analyst, media personality, Fortune 500 speaker, content creator, writer, tastemaker, thought leader, and RYT studio certified yoga teacher. Mr. Pope is the host of #SuitUP Podcast for his production company 528 Media Group, and  host of the Radical Inspiration Podcast. Mr. Pope has over 200+ appearances on air, including international television on BBC and Al Jazeera English; national television on Fox News Channel, HLN, NBC Nightly News, Al Jazeera America, WGN Morning News, Fox Business Channel, and Huff Post Live; Top 3 Local Media Markets on Fox, CBS, and NBC; international radio on BBC Radio; national radio on ESPN Radio, Clear Channel Radio, NBC Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio; written and contributed digitally to The Hollywood Reporter, CNBC, Huffington Post, Jet, and Black Enterprise; and has appeared in other media outlets nationally and internationally. Mr. Pope is represented by top media and literary agency RLR Associates.

© 2016, Exavier B. Pope I, Esq., 528 Media Group.


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