This week, Sports Illustrated released its latest issue with a controversial cover featuring the words “A Nation Divided, Sports United.” The picture accompanying the headline is what really sparked some controversy, on an already firey subject. The image on the cover was of Steph Curry locked arms with LeBron James and Roger Goodell and other sports figures who have been protesting lately, with one major person missing… Colin Kaepernick. How could Sports Illustrated do a cover story on protesting and sports without including the man who started it all, Mr. Kaepernick?
Last year, Colin Kaepernick, the then quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, took a knee during the National Anthem to protest police brutality that was sweeping the nation. This single act of defiance set the sports world on fire and started a whole movement for equality and equal rights for all humans, no matter their race, sex or sexual orientation.
The fact that Sports Illustrated would leave his image off of the cover is unacceptable and downright wrong. There would be no national discussion of this horrible social and cultural issue we have in this country and we owe a lot of this to Colin Kaepernick. He is even putting his money where his mouth is by donating over $1 million to charities all over the world.
Steph Curry, who was on the cover, spoke out about it to reporters at the NBA’s preseason media day saying, “That was terrible…, if you don’t have (Kaepernick) front and center, something’s wrong.” Speaking to ESPN.com’s Chris Haynes, Curry added that the magazine was, “capitalizing on the hoopla and the media and all that nonsense.”
Sports Illustrated’s excuse was that Colin Kaepernick may not have been on the cover but his presence was all over the article, which sounds like a total cop-out to me. I wish those big companies would just admit their mistakes for once and move on, it’s pretty much that simple. All they have to do is make a statement and say that they will make it right by doing a Colin Kaepernick piece in the next issue, see is that so hard?
We all know that they will never admit to any mistakes or oversights and this story will eventually be forgotten, but that is the problem. Our country is divided and we have sports acting as a connecting force, so we should support that connection, not exploit it.
This latest controversy was sparked when the current POTUS tweeted out about Steph Curry and his team not accepting the invitation to the White House. Like most of his tweets, this one has blown up in his face and caused all sorts of controversy. The entire sports world has rallied around each other showing incredible unity and solidarity, the exact opposite thing that the POTUS expected.
All I know is that the country may be divided, but sports are showing how we all can unite under one cause, even if this cause is to crush a certain powerful figure…