#NoKapNoNFL

Again this year as he did the last two years, Colin Kaepernick started the day most of us call Thanksgiving on Alcatraz Island. He was honored at the Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony and wore a T-shirt with the image of Sitting Bull. “It’s been 50 years since the occupation” of Alcatraz by Indians from across the country, Kaepernick told the crowd. “And that struggle has continued for that 50 years … It’s our responsibility to honor our ancestors and honor our elders by carrying on that struggle. Don’t let their sacrifices be in vain.” – Photo: Christopher Burquez, Native News Online

by Timothy James Young

It was a long weekend here at San Quentin State Prison, but while other prisoners were busy watching NFL games, I was busy making a difference.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to write, or concentrate, while hundreds of prisoners are going nuts over a football game, but it’s no easy task. Yet, in spite of the clinking and clamoring that comes along with prison, I managed to hunker down and compose this piece.

As a Black man in America, my allegiance is tied to the acquisition of freedom, justice and equality. Never would I demean myself by putting a sport before the struggle. Why? Because I believe in the sentiments of Colin Kaepernick: “Some things are bigger than football!” To that end, I haven’t watched a NFL game since Colin Kaepernick last played, in 2016.

You see, I recognize the fact that Colin Kaepernick risked his career by taking a knee for people like me. Thus, how would I look, sitting up in this cell, watching the NFL, knowing that Colin Kaepernick was wrongfully banished from the league?!

Kap poses with Morning Star Gali, in organizer of the Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony at Alcatraz, who said: “He stated that he looks forward to attending many more sunrise gatherings with us as our fight continues to be the same.” – Photo: Norm Sands, Native News Online

Unlike the other captives in this miserable place, I refuse to be captivated! It is my assertion that the damage caused by the NFL is irreversible. What that means is that, even if Kap receives an olive branch, and is “allowed” to come back, my disdain for the game would remain.

So, while my fellow prisoners are shamelessly hooting and hollering about their favorite teams, I’ll be busy trying to find a way to make a difference. I’ll be busy trying to get my pen to delineate my vision.

Some would say that a pen is just a pen, but that’s because they fail to see that words have power. They fail to realize that the pen is mightier than the sword.

To me, my pen is more than just a writing implement; it is an extension of my mind. Hell, all things considered, it has functioned as a lifeline.

Find the following related articles at Timothyjamesyoung.com:

  • “We don’t heel, we kneel”
  • “Put your money where your knee is”
  • “The jig is up”
  • “The jig is up” (2)
  • “The jig is up” (3)
  • “My team sucks”

©Timothy James Young #NoKapNoNFL. Send our brother some love and light: Tim Young, F-23374, San Quentin State Prison, San Quentin CA 94974.