Imagine for a second what it would be like if a once in a generation talent used his platform to actually pull people to the table in order to even start an authentic conversation about what’s going on in the form of systemic racism, police brutality and any other relevant issues that people of color face. Not only does this beacon of hope talk about it, but he puts his money where his mouth is and helps out his community financially. We’d praise this person from now until the end of time, wouldn’t we? It’s unfortunate that the person who probably could have done that wants the man who is actually putting his own career on the line to cut his hair, to appease the establishment. On Monday, former NFL quarterback Michael Vick made his runs through the FS1 shows and gave his opinion on a bevy of things, but what made the most headway was his take on former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“First thing we’ve got to get Colin to do is cut his hair,” Vick said during a guest appearance on Fox Sports 1’s “Speak for Yourself.” “Listen, I’m not up here to try to be politically correct. Even if he puts cornrows in there. I don’t think he should represent himself in that way (wearing the Afro). Just the hairstyle. Just go clean-cut. You know, why not? You’re already dealing with a lot.” Vick said the former 49ers starter’s goal should be to look more “presentable.”
Vick went on to say;
“I just think perception and image is everything. This is not the Colin Kaepernick that we’ve known since he entered the National Football League,” Vick said. “I’m just going off my personal experiences. Listen, I love the guy to death. But I want him to also succeed on and off the field. This has to be a start for him.”
Before I go in, I have to clarify that Vick did ultimately say that he sees Kaepernick’s play over the past two seasons as the main reason that he is not currently on an NFL roster.
I hear these words and the first thing that I feel is disappointment. I’m disappointed because every time I see Vick on television it seems that he’s going out of his way to say what he feels like “they” want him to recite. Disappointed because this is clearly an attempt to get a job– at the expense of another black man. True, he did a bid at Leavenworth, and as a man he had to do what he needed in order to provide for his family and pay his debts but I don’t think being the token negro was in the terms of any contract he signed. I watch one of my favorite athletes and I’m discouraged by what I see. Over the past 8 years we have witnessed the castration of Michael Vick– the man.
Lest we forget that at his peak, Vick had the power and was in the perfect location to use his position in the league order to at least make people think about what was and is going on all over the country. He was supposed to be our instrument of change. This was the man who’d not too long ago had been the most controversial athlete on earth– forgotten and ignored, especially by his own league. So if anyone should know even a little bit about the plight of Kaepernick, you’d think it would be this guy. But instead, we get a man that’s now a shell of himself, doing and saying whatever he thinks the suits at Fox want to hear in order to be granted a seat at their table.
The sad part in all of this is that FS1 probably won’t even hire Vick, or if they do it will only be for Hot Takes such as this one. Unfortunately, there is only so much that can be said before you’re just another former athlete searching for work. I’m holding out hope that this is a bad dream, but this isn’t a dream– it’s just another day at the office with this new Michael Vick experience.