Kyle Shanahan: White people are more passionate now about change

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The murder of George Floyd was a tipping point for African-Americans who have lived in justified and all too often realized fear of American law enforcement for generations. For many in white America, it has caused something like scales to fall from our eyes as to the depth and breadth of the problem.

“What’s different now, it’s embarrassing to say, probably, but I think white people are more passionate about it now than then,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Thursday in reference to the anthem protests led by Colin Kaepernick in 2016, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. “And that’s our ignorance. And that’s what upsets black people, and they have every right to be upset because they haven’t just been telling us this the last few weeks. They’ve been telling us this since our grandparents. And I’ve been hearing it from every one of my friends since I was 14.”

Shanahan’s comments were made within the context of the connection between recent unjustified murders of African-American citizens and the reason for Kaepernick’s protests.

“It’s three years later, and [there are] still some people not understanding what his message was,” Shanahan said. “And, regardless, that’s too many people not understanding the message that everyone’s been giving for a long time. And Colin did it the strongest out of anyone, and people should respect him a ton for that and admire that. . . .

“Regardless of whether you agree with how he did it or not, that doesn’t matter. What Colin was protesting was something that should be respected by all humans. That did take a lot of courage. That is something that is 1,000-percent wrong and what he was trying to fix and bring light to.

“And, gosh, it was hard to bring light to the whole country because people didn’t want to totally hear it and it got diluted with so much different stuff.”

It didn’t get diluted as much as if got deflected. People who didn’t want to face the hard truths of a system that targets minorities for more aggressive and hostile and in too many cases (one is too many) lethal treatment changed the subject from the reason for Kaepernick’s protest to his chosen method of protesting, presuming that their own reverence of the flag and the military and America itself is fully shared by people who have had a far different American experience.

“These were the guys who started it and it was very clear when they would articulate it, why they were doing it,” Shanahan said of the protests. “And so the whole debate on all the other stuff, the flag, everything like, people don’t want to hear that. What he was doing was a big deal. Whether you disagree with how he did it or not doesn’t matter. . . .

“And I’m all for protest. I’m all for change. I hope the protest cause change. Whatever we have to do to get the change, I’m for it. I know our organization is. I know Jed is. I know our players are. We always have been.

He’s right, but it can’t be conditional or equivocal. It can’t come with, “Yes, but you shall stand for the anthem and respect the flag.” Those who want to make this moment the catalyst for change that may not come overnight will need the support — not passive tolerance but active support — to take a knee and/or raise a fist and remind the majority that the minority is still not enjoying the liberty and justice for all promised by a pledge of allegiance recited every day by school children throughout the nation.

12 responses to “Kyle Shanahan: White people are more passionate now about change

  1. White people ARE passionate about change…just don’t dare utter the wrong words or defend anything that might go against what Lebron thinks.

  2. I am Canadian and watching this from afar and truly hope that this time things will change for the betterment of society and humanity as a whole. It has made everyone more interspective which is good.

    Personally where Colin lost me was his pig socks and Castro shirt. Respect begets respect, just as disrespect and ignorance begets the same. He then quit the 49ers while still under contract and complained he didn’t have a job.

    He 100% had the right message but was the wrong person to deliver it to affect change.

  3. I have dedicated a good portion of my life to helping minority youth. At 46 years old I would be willing to bet I spent more time with minority youth the most NFL players. I’ve been white for 46 years! Never gave it any thought. Leftists seem to be the ones who obsess over it.

  4. “He then quit the 49ers while still under contract and complained he didn’t have a job.“

    This isn’t entirely accurate. Yes, he did opt out of his contract with the 49ers. But that was only after the 49ers told him they were going to cut him once the league year started (mid March). By opting out early (in February) he got a one month head start on free agency and finding a new team.

  5. But not enough to give Kap his starting job back, eh Kyle? Just a reminder that your organization benched then cut a Super Bowl QB for no other reason than being a visionary in race relations.

  6. The thing is Kap wasn’t healthy for part of the end with the Niners. Then he got surgery, and then everything else happened. Why does everybody forget he was 5 yards away from being a SB winning QB?

  7. It is all politics. It is politicians who need to act. I cant think of anything else I can do individually that will change anything. No average person likes injustice of any kind against anyone. Problem.is, average people don’t make the rules.

  8. “ravenhawks says:
    June 4, 2020 at 8:30 pm
    The thing is Kap wasn’t healthy for part of the end with the Niners. Then he got surgery, and then everything else happened. Why does everybody forget he was 5 yards away from being a SB winning QB?”

    Because they didn’t win.

  9. “But not enough to give Kap his starting job back, eh Kyle? Just a reminder that your organization benched then cut a Super Bowl QB for no other reason than being a visionary in race relations.“

    I’m sure it had nothing to do with games like the one he had in Soldier Field, in one of his last starts (1-5, 4 yds passing) in 3 quarters or football.

  10. ravenhawks says:
    June 4, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    The thing is Kap wasn’t healthy for part of the end with the Niners. Then he got surgery, and then everything else happened. Why does everybody forget he was 5 yards away from being a SB winning QB?
    ______________________________________

    Why do some forget those final two seasons where he went 2-6(2015) and 1-10(2016) as a starting QB, 1-10 isn’t going to get you any opportunities!

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