When Claiming Victimhood Is More Lucrative Than Success
Written by Kevin Catapano on 05/12/2021
On Monday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Jacksonville Jaguars are planning to sign former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow to a one-year contract at tight end. Naturally, the political Left lost its collective mind.
Its collective concern: How could Tim Tebow be signed before Colin Kaepernick? Tebow has been out of the league longer. He hasn’t played tight end professionally. His Christian values are equally as distracting as Kaepernick’s political activism. This must be the result of systemic racism and the blackballing of those who speak out against it.
It wouldn’t matter how long Tebow was out of the league relative to Kaepernick if he could perform a more useful function to an organization. While he was in the league, multiple teams tried to steer Tebow toward a different position because he didn’t have the ability to play quarterback in the NFL but he did have the athleticism to compete in a different capacity. He refused then. His willingness to transition now demonstrates his priority and willingness to sacrifice for it.
Kaepernick couldn’t play quarterback over the long term either. By the time he was out of the league in 2016, he was backing up a perennial backup in San Francisco. The difference between Kaepernick and Tebow is that the last time Kaepernick had an opportunity to return to the league, he sabotaged it.
As football fans will recall, in November 2019, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell caved to pressure from left-wing political activists, rapper Jay-Z among them, and offered Kaepernick a tryout in front of all 32 teams at the Falcons’ training facility in Atlanta. With a chance to prove that his recent unemployment had, in fact, been the result of blackballing, Kaepernick went AWOL.
As the New York Times reported, the league and Kaepernick’s legal team “fought over whether Kaepernick would be provided a list of which N.F.L. personnel would be present. They tussled over whether media would be allowed to watch, and over whether Kaepernick could bring his own film crew to the workout.” After Kaepernick’s lawyers rejected a liability waver, their client didn’t show up when and where he was supposed to. The scouts went home. The agreed-upon tryout didn’t happen. Kaepernick signed a deal with Disney instead to produce content about racial injustice.
Does that seem like a guy who wanted to play in the National Football League?
But what about Tebow’s Christian values? As Ahmed Ali complained on Twitter: “Interesting how the same people that are praising Tim Tebow for his values outside of football, see Colin Kaepernick’s values as a distraction.”
This is pure idiocy.
Firstly, Christian values are different than politics. There is nothing distracting about a player praying on the field. Nobody on the Left complains when Patriots quarterback Cam Newton says an on-field prayer before the opening snap. Why is it a distraction when Tebow kneels in the end zone in prayer after a touchdown? Leftists are clubbing the NFL over Tebow’s faith because they don’t like Christianity. But, more importantly, because it serves their racial-injustice narrative.
If Tebow brought his politics onto the field, the question would pertain to what they were. Does anybody believe that leftists would be sanguine about a player’s politics if they were right-wing conspiracy theories? This has nothing to do with the free expression of political beliefs. It has everything to do with the force-feeding of leftism to the public in nonpolitical arenas. And the fact is that Kaepernick’s politics are complete bunk.
There is no systemic racism in the United States today. Discrimination by race has been illegal for over half a century. There is also no systemic police racism. Statistically, police shoot more white suspects than black suspects. Arrests by race match reported crime by race. Per body cam footage, in the vast majority of cases, police use lethal force when it is justified. In the event that it isn’t, the officer is indicted and prosecuted.
Kaepernick’s politics are about forwarding untrue narratives about the United States. Chief among them is the idea that failure is largely the result of discrimination rather than personal decision-making in a free country. The reason Kaepernick isn’t in the NFL is because he would prefer to be a political activist. Leftists will pay far more for self-proclaimed victimhood than NFL organizations will invest in shoddy quarterback play.
Kevin Catapano is a political science student at the University of Connecticut and a contributor for Lone Conservative. He has written columns for the student newspaper and served as a staff writer for the UConn Undergraduate Political Review.
(Photo: Flickr/Jeffrey Beall/CC BY-SA 2.0)
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