Jibber Jabber – It’s just hair, right?

Opinion

Chad T. Jones, Public Affairs Officer

You’re going to hear something I’ve never said before. I agree with Shannon Sharpe.

His point about Michael Vick’s suggestion that Colin Kaepernick needs a haircut is wrong and perpetuates racial stereotypes that insist how you look is more important than how you act.

However, because those stereotypes exist, you’re going to hear something rarer than me agreeing with Shannon. I agree with Skip Bayless, too.

As much as we know Colin — a man who’s never been charged with a crime, gives charity, and possesses a seemingly strong understanding of the Constitution — has nothing to apologize for or character-based reason to change.

We also know he’d have a better chance of getting a job if he cut his hair.

No doubt it stinks and is completely unfair, but sometimes truth hurts. Many rich, predominantly white dudes prefer not to pay millions of dollars to people who “appear” to be trouble — the key word being “appear.”

One area where I disagree with Shannon is his disparaging remarks about Vick for making the suggestion that Kaepernick cut his hair. As off-putting as the comments were, Vick – a man who knows what it really takes for a minority to get a second chance — was giving Kap practical advice on how to get back into the league, not critiquing Kap’s choices or principles.

Vick’s advice was based off experience. He had to go corporate and show contrition if he wanted to get back into football after spending 18 months in prison for dog fighting.

Of course, the big difference is Vick’s image needed to change. Before prison, he was involved in criminal activity and perpetrated the stereotype of a felon: He had the corn rolls, was tattooed up, and was doing things he shouldn’t have been doing.

He needed to change — not to be a football player, but to be a productive citizen.

Kaepernick has zero to apologize for. In fact, he is an example of what right looks like. But he’s not the first good example to suffer for his stance nor will he be the last.

What’s going to be interesting is which side gives first — The Shield and its executives who think decent quarterbacks who protest injustice are worse than good players with criminal records OR Kaepernick?

I hope it’s the league. I think it will be the league. But what if it is Kaepernick?

Colin responded to Vick’s comments basically by saying he succumbed to “Stockholm Syndrome,” which is when people who’ve been kidnapped or oppressed sympathize with their captors.

That aside, Forbes Magazine reports the average NFL salary is $1.9 million per year. Now you can call me dumb, a sellout or whatever else, but only a fool wouldn’t at least consider grabbing some scissors and a razor for that much cheddar.

I’d contemplate wearing a tie for a $1,000-a-year quality step increase and would hit the barber weekly for a promotion — and I hate ties and love my hair. But I have a family to feed and bills to pay. I’m also trying to finish off a man cave and fund a summer camp.

Kap’s probably got some of those issues too, but the big difference between Kap and me or anyone else asked to go corporate or kowtow to “The Man” is that when we do it, we’re sacrificing comfort and maybe a little coin on grooming and fashion.

Kap’s being asked to sacrifice his principles.

If you have comments on this or anything to do with sports, contact me at chad.t.jones.civ@mail.mil or hit me up on Twitter @CTJibber.

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