Review of Colin In Black & White: Knee Deep On and Off the Field

Ice Emery , Student of Journalism

In 2016, a man sparked one of the biggest sports controversies in this generation if not ever. Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers started to kneel during the national anthem to protest for racial equality and injustice. While Kaepernick’s message has been mainstream all over the world for the past years since. His beliefs at the time would cost him his NFL career. In the show Colin In Black & White. The main thing for this series is “context.” Kaepernick, who has been more slandered than listened to, in the first episode opens with his face right up close and addresses the audience. The topic of discussion? The toxic power dynamics of pro football tryouts, he talks about how the dehumanizing of prospective players are compared with the experience of enslaved men on the auction block. It is not subtle.

This series is here to educate, and class is in session.

“Some people will say the system is broken,” Kaepernick states at one point, when discussing systemic racism, “I’m here to tell you it was intentionally built this way.” At the time as a kid and an African American, I thought it was crazy, I have never seen someone do this type of stuff.

The series reminded me of Malcolm X and how he approached things. I remember even asking my dad if I could do the same thing. I stood right by Colin when this happened and still do to this day. The show was jaw-dropping from the opening scene, as an African American, I love these types of shows because it educates me and tells me about things that I have not seen or really thought about yet.

This whole document was a way of telling all the people that disrespected Kapernick when the whole situation was going on and now it was his turn to show his side. Looking at reviews of the show on, obviously, different comments exist, but the one that stood out to me was “Engaging series on the struggles of being multi-ethnic and finding your way.” I really related to this comment and really sums up the show.

I spoke to a friend of mine, Gradin Tashner about the show and how he felt about it.  He said,  “I think the show was very powerful.” He talked about the things that shocked him and made him think about stuff that he has never really seen and allowed him to view them in a different light.

Even though many people that agreed with his right to protest, he lost his job because he was disrespectful of the flag and the Army. Senior Isaiah Balassi said, “I think that he could have done it at a more appropriate time, but he was also smart when he did it because it got the attention that it needed.”

Many people think that he could have even done it at a better time, maybe in a different place. I think there was no better place to do it on the biggest stage possible where everyone could see it to get his message across. Overall, I feel like this show was not only revolutionary it brought to light many things that African Americans go through, not just athletes. It teaches others what it is like from a different perspective that people cannot understand and maybe never will.