tv Dave Zirin The Kaepernick Effect CSPAN August 5, 2022 1:21am-2:26am EDT
now i will hand it over to you. >> thank you so much for that introduction. dave how? are you? >> i'm great and so happy to be here. i have such warm feelings for brooklyn for her their society and the id line this is everything and thank you for taking the time to do this. >> of course. i am from maryland but my mother was born and raised here. it is a great return to where she is from. but jumping right into the questions>>. >> except i y am in maryland now. where did you grow up? >> montgomery counties. >> that is where i am right now. >> .
women's sports andn meant sports and then to do this book so thateq when we talk about racial inequity and violence and people don't want to hear that people don't want to hear what they say on this country the response canan be brutal. one of the common threads is the specter of violence as a response to a nonviolent act of civil disobedience into me that is a stunning window. it doesn't matter if you are a softball player one part or if you are a player in texas if you are challenging the status quo
is like a warning and if it still doesn't work to see what we have which i think it is a very interesting dynamic cycle to the increased team frustration to communities of color. host: before you ask that question you just said some stuff. i have three bullet points in my brain -based and what you said and just said they came back from minneapolis today and you go to george floyd square and one of them euros they are on —- murals they are is of me and it is chilling and very moving over where his
body lay that we try to do this in the most peaceful terms there is a problem with police violence and racism and that was ignored for responded to with hostility and violence. listen to people you have to listen when they step forward with concerns in society or it will be a whirlwind at some point. you also mention the civil rights movement intoic quick things comment to parallel to the call and kaepernick movement so anybody who has watched eyes on the prize knows all the civil rights activist to think about the utilizing lynching of emmett till in mississippi it changed their lives and a scar that could not be erased.
and thatse they needed to be part of the struggle going forward no matter what. talking to young people treyvon martin was the and that till of this generation. that was surprising to me. every single person i spoke to practically they said treyvon martin more than kaepernick when they talked about their protest. and that that was 2012, that was nine 2 years ago if you are 20 that means that happened when you were 11 so then you are old enough to get what is happening but young enough to ask why does the world have to be thiss way? and that stuck with people in a big way. the other civil rights parallel that comes to mind think of the montgomery bus boycott, that is an issue of respect and jim crow on the bus line. that is what people are
fighting around the powers that be not just only through the jim crow south are bigger than that. talking about busth lines today, this is like pulling the string on a sweater. that is similar to kaepernick and all these other young people who took a knee. yes they did it for racial equity and police violence , one of the reasons why the reaction was so racist because implicit to take the knee is a statement, especially during the anthem, there is a gap between what the country says it represents in the experiences of so many people in the country. that is a challenge to put towards power in the united states. >> that resonates with me i was in eighth grade when the treyvon martin case was
publicized and came to light. even before that i think i hador heard of emmett till and i think it was in the fifties my grandmother was born in the forties. and then in the back of my mind to be the modern-day lynching i and then the realities to see how those are replicated today is very jarring. and with those killings over the years and then rice was soon after that and then mike brown andti baltimore 2015 i remember that the most. and then bland and castillo
and garner and all the cases in that short time span. and it was so frustrating and heartbreaking. i saw that with the pandemic but the cause that shapes our generation of the black lives matter movement but what shapes us the most is interesting but also especially seeing the impact of the civil rights movement that was on people's minds. host: definitely am appreciative of those cases in the way they shape people because social media is very much a part of this story. especially summer 2016 with castillo and the videos going
viral and people seeing them and then the response by so many people empowering in politics to saydi the problem is social media. no. the problem is v police violence if they say kaepernick is polarizing are taking a knee is polarizing. what is polarizing is police violence and racism. that is polarizing. so talk about polarization keep in mind if you drill in to those who are taking a knee like kaepernick is not so much america is polarized but it is white america because black and brown folks broadly support the rights to protest during the anthem around issues of racial inequity. those who disagree and those who were opposed at the mere
thought that that is the power of taking the knee that is so ubiquitous so if we took any at theoo maryland state fair read a ravens game everybody word know why we were taking the knee. people see it and they know that they issue the direct challenge at the status quo that throws those who want to see that off the deep end. >> you also mentioned taking any especially there was symbolic gestures and the senate democrats taking a knee or recently some ceo they did
in supportrt of black lives. i don't remember so taking any is likei' a racial justice protest. so how is taking of the knee over time and in what ways is that symbolisms beneficial and how taking any is like george floyd so what is the meaning of the symbolism of how many years after kaepernick did it? >> but j the power of that juxtaposition i saw that protest throughout the summer of 2020 agent taken american studies degree from columbia to realize it is a tale of kaepernick's me who is a
nonviolent expression of the desire for social change and derek chauvin me on the neck of george floyd and it is so much what we are as a country people still say officer derek chauvin and exploiting kaepernick for taking the knee and that is the fun house mirror of morality so to differentiate in terms of what we see as acceptable as part of human life but we need to drill down on and discuss. and with w this idea of appropriation that is a feature of this country there is a malcolm x postage stamp but when public enemy said in
1989 most of my heroes don't appear on stamps that was a true statement that the icons radicalism to get appropriated you can't make the country forget about welcome ask so what you do instead is appropriate and sell it back asas consumable everything to extract political canine so they don't bite at the system treating people unfairly. there has been that effort as well. t nancy pelosi is something worth of dwelling upon a little bit that the one thing that i see when it comes to
the knee context is everything i just got an e-mail last week about a high school the football team took any in the people in the stands took the knee because of racist and homophobic snap chats going around the school so black lives matter flags along with lgbtq flags in the stands so in a situation like that, it is powerful. it is a tremendous statement of anti-em oppression a high school football game much to the chagrin of the administration and parents. the power is still there but exercised in a way that there is a risk of nancy pelosi taking a knee or a team activity because the franchise
ownership wants to market the team is being antiracist entity appealing to generations in get the dollars. that's a very different circumstance. i wish this wasn't the case but one of the things that gives protest it's power is risk when we observe it from a distance. >> you mentioned that case like the black lives matter flag being flown and there is some diverse context for when people took any or did something similar of athletic protest serve all the interviews what is the most memorable and what stands out to you and why quick. >> which it's me the most in my heart is oh my goodness
like choosing between favorites i treasure all of these relationships so much but what i carry with me is a football player in ohio a suburb outside of cleveland but his family news from the neighborhood in cleveland to a suburb in brunswick because he gets a better public school education so trying to do things from the standpoint of what we are taught is the american dream that yet here is rodney with open racism or harassment from the police he hears all sorts of racial epithets and he says i find that offensive his teammates
look at him and say what you talking about we are not talking about you that you are a good one you are that teammates. it is the other ones. in addition he is at a school where he constantly feels he has to tiptoe through rain drops and watch everything he says and does. he didn't want to go to parties because other people were drinking. not that he was concerned about himself that worried about being classmates when they are drinking and what will they say to him? so he's in a difficult box already and then the videos come out. the memories like treyvon martin and the videos we already discussed like martin and castillo and he connects his own personal experience with those he sees on social media.
he wants to do something that has no idea but then kaepernick takes a knee and eureka. yes. that something i can do and you study social movements and social struggle this is his great gift to the grand history of social movements. it is that gesture to replicate and everybody knows what it is you are talking about.ee so he takes the knee and when he does this is when the story really begins because i found when talking to people so the real story is after the knee gets taken a start to see does the church one —- is the coach support mi stabbed her do i get solidarity and support? areho the teachers patting me on
the back like some cases are are there concerns teachers or professors are giving bad grades because they object what you are doing on the sporting field because one was convinced they were trying to push her out to her grades unfairly for one student. that must be a nightmare if you think about that. so rodney a went through all of that. so despite his hardship he has no regrets whatsoever and is very proud of what he did. second when summer 2020 happens with the protest he has a sense of vindication to be in the right side of history o when they feel like i
risk something and now that bears fruit. >> that definitely resonated with me as somebody from ohio who went to the school and just to see how that dream is so important for those who hope to make it in the athletic world and he would risk giving that up period is very powerful but to mention he didn't know exactly what to do the way he felt to see these different cases but that gesture and then to transfer to a different topic there is less controversy on whether or
not that gesture was enough or impactful to replicate that with that economic power and then with that push of ownership as a better model so what do you think that is of that kaepernick affect how do you think about those two things quick. think of the sean carter affect is primarily benefiting sean carter while kaepernick benefits amasses so beware anyone whoever says protest is not enough because what we need is not more protest
because the ideas for the war we want to live in one —- the world do want to live and come out of protest so we need to transition out what they really say is we need that out of struggle without struggle there is no progress so we need that for those fires to create the change we want to see people have asked me do you think b that jay-z sold out? know notll at all you have to understand he is a billionaire he's not selling out he is acting in accordance with his station in society. and if he wants to do that to become the first black owner then more power to him but what that does for the family of george floyd i do not know
for the communities that leave at one —- do with police occupation that meanwhile what kaepernick was doing was inspiring people to actualize themselves as a change maker and so much more comes out of that historically then just to say we need to have some sort of action plan with the police because what that leads to is a group of leaders who were not given that responsibility to negotiate the terms of people's oppression instead of the masses and this confusion comes quite directly so many people are taught history in this country as a almost
always white men and very rarelyho women who are these exceptional people almost like they come down from planet awesome to create this kind of change and we are observers. we are not participants. and that history is attractive for two reasons. we live in a celebrity culture. it's almost like bees to honey butt it is very disempowering. colin kaepernick affect gives people a sense of action, action is critical that they'll get from point a to point b and have a more just society than the one we live in people say all he did was take any, that's not all he did, we had a discussion of
colin kaepernick but even if that was all he did, the effect of it means so much more too so many more people than if jay-z get the keys to the castle. >> that's very interesting. >> and get a right my thesis, my senior thesis on jay-z wildlife leave. >> the controversy in all of his own theories were changed. it reminded me of speaking like metaphors, analogies to civil rights abacus and it's a conversation between w eb, making the committee and the washington side were economically advanced improving ways their ownership and
economic power, it was more political power right to vote, protest and all of those things and of course other things that i disagree upon, i'm starting to see jay-z, summative's albums advocate are small things that individuals can do to save wealth or certain things which had a lot of holes and issues especially within the african-american community and discrimination along with class and colin kaepernick provide the protestant political movement. in the analogy to segmenting the two strategies 2d conceptualize.
>> i would say first and foremost the voice has been very strongly been proven right by history. and in the book or to washington model, put on your buckets where your standing and build where you are, that could benefit a small minority of people but it doesn't do anything for the mass population. it might segment a small group to enjoy the streets of the system that we live in but is not going to do anything is going to exacerbate quality from dramatic inequality. we need massive antipoverty programs in the united states. that's not what jay-z represents pre-guidi mass movements for instructional racism, that is not what jay-z is trained to build. i think we can fuse together the movements of political and economic power as long as we realize one of the walls against achieving true economic power is
actually political regression. i think washington and his descendents really missed it. how do you expect to build black power in the broadest possible sense, not in terms of a few people but in the broadest possible sense as long as politically look what is happening right now the anti-critical race theory or whether the voting rights oppression, the gerrymandering, these are only just political attacks on our political rights it affects people's ability to be economically mobile in society. we have to be able to seize these two things. i'll say this calling, in these camps forgot all, one thing we stressed this idea as financial literacy, there's sessions that they talk with young people and they get experts to talk with
young people about things like like nutritional literacy, i'll never forget being in chicago. there was a couple of hundred at youth, the question came up how many people here have eaten food three times in the last week, just about everybody raises their hands in the second question how many of you have someone in your family who's had colon cancer. all of a sudden somebody people raise their hands. , on the self-determination and the food that we eat it is a political site and is also an economic fight because we have to be able to afford is also an economic question in addition to being a political question. i think the fusion of these two issues is critical by any liberation politics.
>> it's interesting in chicago there is nutritional programs and that's one of the places where they have a program and also where the police had the "black panther" program and i have a tiktok on this. the food that was meant for children after reading it which is completely insane. it goes to show that these things are resistant throughout time and they are believed to come back. how would you react to that? >> that is so powerful that panter showed this example. if you're trying to build economic race the police are still going to come in, any challenge to racism is going to be a very intense battle regardless. @avid economic fight and political fight in a lot of ways
that's a legacy to have ways which you can build up in community and in ways you can challenge inequality and capitalism or you will end up in a situation that will lead to the defamation of not just the struggle but the entire communities. >> i agree. >> was gone a lot in the past but present-day/future leads to the book i was reading it when there is a policy in the book in the beginning and the interest, talk about things that help that happen yesterday. i cannot believe this is published in printed and sent to me in that time span. it feels like george floyd's and other things that have happened are so timely. my question for you in writing this is a story, it's not over the colin kaepernick affect is still inviting people, it cannot
be in the book the book is early on, how did you know when to wrap it up and when the story cut was complete and. >> that's ultimate question from that the painters question, when you take a step back away from the portrait. how do you know that stroke is done and the incredible fear that comes with knowing when to put the brush down it doesn't belong to you anymore. that is the moment, i've written other books in that moment where you hit return and descended into your editor or publisher and you know your baby is no longer yours. other hands are going to shape it. almost always for the better. it'll only be what you put together. the last question. this is ongoing and were gonna
see more protests in the years to come. to me the summer of 2020 was such an important moment in history and the history for racial justice in the history of protest in the history of struggle, my goodness protest in all 50 states, that never happens during the civil rights movement. in the same concentrated period of time in the searing team will be divided. red state or blue state is a false division the idea that we had protest in idaho and san francisco around the same issue about the same man who was killed in minneapolis obviously that speaks the people are upset ways that is far transcend to what occurred with george floyd and not even other viral videos or anything like that but they
saw a reflection of their own lived experience of what happened to george floyd that's the only reason why there would ever be protest at large and that intense. to me in the aftermath of the protest and also thinking about if we can get the book out i appreciate them for doing this. if we can get the book out in fall of 2021 the anniversary of when colin kaepernick with the anthem and started nfl season, why not. that is a good point by which we start the discussion while being extremely humble about the story been an ongoing story. it's important it's a present-day story. we share the history majors and having that sense of what happened in the past, the past becomes dry and defecated,
they're not applying it to the present and using as a way to understand the future. >> i agree. >> thank you so much, were gonna transition into the audio. it's about that time a few that are going to answer. i will start where i want to take things up. how did dave's social, political and cultural views in the intersection of sports come about how do they receive in the sports world with anyone else viewing what you do. >> for me there was a basketball player for the denver nuggets who makes a decision to not standard the national anthem and asked why he said the flag may
be a symbol of freedom and democracy to some but it's depression and turning to others. i am somebody who live life's on two parallel tracks i was very much into history and all the stuff that you're into like the history of social protest and how it changed the world and people the self-actualization of the individual was something i was very into, the self emancipation of the individual. i was really into sports. obsessed but to me being into sports not knowing all the statistics on the back of the baseball card it did not mean the history of people like muhammad ali, billie jean king, tommy smith, john carlos and i'll never forget on espn one of the talking heads refused to come up for the anthem they said they might see themselves as an activist athlete, my head exploded what is an activist athlete i did not know what that was.
i went to the library i started reading the book my roommate was in a class called the history of the black athlete taught by professor and i just saw the professor yesterday when is a minneapolis that's why i went to college i was picking out my school. i just have to say he's 87 years old, sharpens attack at the event and he said to me i love the work you're doing and i said your class change my life and he said you did not take my class and i believe he didn't remember that. i said i didn't take a class but my remake didn't i read all his books and i was speaking to your class and he was so pleased to hear that, professor is in my heart as i do all of this work. >> that's how i got into it, are
the other people in sports doing this, there is a new generation of sportswriters who were looking at this as a more political view there is a profound change in the last ten years young people who don't want to write about the strikes and the punk context in which they take place there dedicated positions to be in sports culture and politics writers in places like the washington post, usa today and a host of other favors obviously it opened itself up for that. i started doing this 20 years ago i had to tell you the landscape is profoundly different than when i started. >> that is great, thank you for sharing that is inspiring we will probably to take your professors name or a book recommendation, that would be all get another question, please write the name and the panelist.
>> i'm just gonna write my name. >> i just want to make sure the audience has that. >> it was great to see them on campus, one of the terrific professors. >> great to see you. he was wearing a facemask is a good trouble on. >> asked me another question, the black national anthem at the nfl games has gone to complaints from people from many backgrounds and viewpoints. the true innovation for this position and how do you feel this move is better and do you think this will last? >> yes, that's a great claim, this is about care instinct. the nfl realizes what colin
kaepernick did, he opened up the battle all over the place and you can't put the mind back in the bottle, the genie is out of the lamp in terms of players protesting in the nfl had to adjust and figured out how to do with the fact that the entire league rest on a profound contradiction. you don't have the nfl without a deep deep sense of racial and labor discipline. that has to be maintained to have a national football league, how else do you have a league no black franchise owners were 70% of the players are black and as a 100% injury rates. contracts are not guaranteed in a typical career is only three years. that's a very rough set of material circumstances and it's a very rough objective reality into depends on this degree of vertical authoritarianism and making sure that everybody knows their place and everybody does what they're supposed to do.
>> here is colin kaepernick living the famous muhammad ali quote who said i don't have to be what you want me too be, there is a danger in that and that's why said when we started the conversation this is about more than police violence and racial inequity this is about who is supposed to lead and follow and colin kaepernick and others turning on a ten. >> i view the plane of the national black anthem and put things like slogan like antiracism in the end zone and allows players to wear decals or start a social justice committee inside of the nfl as their effort to corral the new consciousness that is taking place. and make sure it's expressed through acceptable parameters that they can still control. that's what it's really all about at the end of the day. it is about control. >> rate answer. >> someone also asked is this being recorded do we have a
copy, yes and there will be a recording after comes out as well. there was one more question that we will do that is interesting to me, you talked about mexico and 68 as a modern era protestant sports, are there any earlier significant protest in the sports world? >> absolutely. >> this is why love sports history. it's an incredible lens to which to understand american history. politics are baked into the cake of organized sports in this country this goes back to the 19th century. it's always been political rebels in sports, gaining back to the 1800s and the reason why sports rest on a huge contradiction, this included the reality of exclusion. when sports started in the 19th century and held up as being an incredible symbol of the united states, a true
meritocracy, anybody he was good at the sports can make it on the field. anybody who tries hard enough will get in the game. it is a huge effort and ideological reproduction, the ideas of this country are reflected through sports to teach a young generation particular at that time a young generation of european immigrants that you're no longer polish or irish or italian, your american now, your american now and you can facilitate that through sports to the neurotoxicity, that inclusion narrative was a myth. the reality was exclusion women not allowed to play, black and brown folks go off to the side and make your own money if you want to but we do what is see and hear about it were not going to fund it, the history of sports has been despite for inclusion, despite the playing field by marginalized groups to be heard and defined expression of their own lives in the sports world. in that regard sports is always
been the expression used earlier to marry the coal mine usually struggles iraq through inclusion and breakout in the broader society. that is why when we talked with the civil rights movement were talking about jackie robinson who comes in almost a full decade through the civil rights movement, he comes into major league baseball by doctor king's at boston university for goodness sakes are muhammad ali coming out against the vietnam war and very few people in the country were against the vietnam war. we see these things reflected in sports in a very powerful manner and it can be an effective lens for teaching about the contradictions of the united states. >> thank you so much these are all the questions we can take. i'm going to pass it back to marsha now. >> before you go i have to say, that was fantastic i've done so many of these. and i enjoy doing this with you
so much. i really appreciate you taking the time to do this with me. >> i agree thank you for being here and thank you for writing the book, it was amazing i recommend everyone getting it from the local store the link that has been provided. it's a great lead. >> sounds good. >> i want to thank you both. what a wide ranging connecting the dots mind blowing set of things you are able to talk about, i would think you and i want to thank all of you for being here tonight the program was recorded in is recorded and will post it tomorrow on the center for brooklyn history youtube channel. i'm really hoping will explore the other
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