Colin Kaepernick sent shockwaves through the nation when he likened playing in the NFL to being a slave. In his Netflix special 'Colin in Black & White,' he zoomed in on the NFL Draft Combine and how it mirrored a slave auction in antebellum America.
Colin Kaepernick likens NFL Combine to Slave Auction
The video shows Colin Kaepernick in the foreground as a narrator. In the background are black players who want to be in the NFL. He says that what the players do not understand is that a power dynamic is being established.
Most of the coaches, general managers and scouts in the NFL are predominantly white, even though most of the players are black. It shows them, in Colin Kaepernick's words, poking and prodding them.
The scene where the team personnel is measuring up the players and making them undergo physical drills then seamlessly changes into a slave auction in the past. It shows white slave owners bidding for black slaves who are in chains. The auction begins and a farmer keeps bidding higher prices for the enslaved people in front of them. The idea is similar to, quite possibly in the mind of Colin Kaepernick, how after having judged the players in the NFL Combine, the NFL owners and managers move up and down the draft to get the best athlete into their team.
The auction then continues and spliced images from the present and past interweave. The farmer from the past meets a coach from the present and gifts him the slave he has just brought for him. As this imagery fades, Colin Kaepernick comes into view in the background, observing silently.
It is a damning indictment of what Colin Kaepernick considers the current NFL to be. The league has effectively blackballed him for taking a stance against police brutality by making a point by respectfully kneeling during the National Anthem. So, there is a chance that his present experiences have informed his thought process and made Colin Kaepernick have an unfavorable view of the modern-day NFL.
There will undoubtedly be many who will disagree with his views. The NFL has not commented as an organization and no individual from the league, either in a professional or personal capacity, has reacted to it. Whether it will be forthcoming or not is unclear at the moment, but Colin Kaepernick, just as he did a few years ago by taking a knee, has started another uncomfortable conversation.