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Above photo: Screen capture of Colin Kaepernick kneeling, ABC News video on YouTube.

OPINION: Dear NFL, All Lives Can’t Matter Until Black Lives Do

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What Colin Kaepernick started in 2016 is now more than just football, more than just taking a knee.

For over 400 years, fathers have been taken from sons, mothers from daughters and children slaughtered right in front of your face. Four hundred years later, nothing has changed. Fathers are still being taken from sons, mothers from daughters and children are still being slaughtered. 

When will it change? 

From colonial slavery to straight up murder. From countless slaves to Eric Garner to George Floyd and everyone in between, they lost their lives because some people still believe that the color of our skin is the genetic makeup of our hearts.

But we are tired. The black community is tired. And all we are asking is TO STOP KILLING US. But people still don’t get it. Some people still don’t understand the movement and it is flabbergasting. 

How hard is it? We tell you that you’re hurting us. And instead of helping us sew our wounds, you continue to stab us. 

But I think the community is finally coming together. Like I said, we are tired, we are done and we are moving forward with or without you. We have set America on fire and we don’t plan to stop any time soon until we get the basic human rights and the justice that we deserve.

Those lives will not go in vain. 

They won’t just be another hashtag or another face on a T-shirt. Those lives will be remembered for the change they have brought upon America. They are why we march, why we protest.

On June 5, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted that the league was wrong and that he should have listened to his players when it came to Black Lives Matter. He’s right — they were wrong and with majority of the players in the NFL being black, you would think they would’ve paid attention to this sooner. 

But the one thing they didn’t sit right with me is that they didn’t address Kaepernick directly. He was the first man to shed light on social injustice in the NFL. And you fired him. 

While the NFL has now taken a step in the right direction, until they acknowledge Kaepernick I don’t truly believe them. When Kaepernick took that knee, he wasn’t disrespecting the American flag, especially when U.S. veterans have spoken out in defense of the peaceful protest. 

Here’s is the funny thing. You fire a man for kneeling, for trying to protect his community but we have to burn down half of America in order for the cop put his knee in George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to be arrested. If that doesn’t scream backwards, I don’t what else does. 

America needs change. This country was built off the blood sweat and tears of our ancestors. And that’s how it will end if we don’t get the rights we deserve. 

All lives can’t matter until Black Lives Matter.

VOX Media Cafe reporter Madison Murphy, 15, attends Elite Scholars Academy.


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comments (2)

  1. Tatyana Chambliss

    Agree completely

  2. Wanda Allen

    You go girl! Preach! Awesome article. Out of the mouth of babes.