Award Winning Journalist Produces a Hefty Book on Former NFL Quarter Back Colin Kaepernick and His Take a Knee Protest
Award winning author and journalist Delroy Constantine-Simms has written and edited numerous books, including The Greatest Taboo: Homosexuality in the Black Community, Black Lives Don’t Lives Matter Living While Black in Latin America and the Caribbean, but his latest book, # Take A Knee: The Political Awakening of Colin Kaepernick might be his most compelling yet.
Constantine-Simms’s # Take A Knee: The Political Awakening of Colin Kaepernick latest book is unparalleled, because it allows more than 100 strong and defining academic voices to offer their perspective on Colin Kaepernick’s controversial act of kneeling during the USA national anthem in 2016. An act that has become one of the most iconic black athlete political protests, since the 1968 Mexico Olympics, when African American athletes Tommy Smith and John Carlos stood on the winner’s podium, while displaying the black power salute, during the US national anthem.
# Take A Knee: The Political Awakening of Colin Kaepernick was released in August 2020 “[Colin] Kaepernick’s simple act spread like wildfire throughout U.S. society, becoming the preeminent symbol of resistance to the United States’ persistent racial inequality,” said the publisher’s press release. The book cover has the USA flag in the background and a black silhouette image of the former NFL quarterback, on one knee.
Constantine-Simms, “I’ve been working on this book, ever since 2017 after Donald Trump called players who kneeled “sons of bitches.” Every time I thought I concluded the book, a racial incident leading national protests kept erupting in response to legal decision which vindicated the judicial police killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Sylville Smith, Keith Lamont Scott. Then we hit 2020 and the police killing of Brianna Taylor and George Floyd, which led to the largest anti-police brutality protests in the history of the United States, thus delaying the release of this book he says.
This no holds barred, 1178 page book # Take A Knee: The Political Awakening of Colin Kaepernick, covers Jim Crow segregation in sport, Black athlete activism, NFL viewer boycotts, white nationalism, The NFL white balling of Colin Kaepernick, the NFL settlement and apology, The Nike Sponsorship controversy, while outlining how Jay-Z and the NFL effectively killed off the protest and Kaepernick’s NFL career.
With his act of protest, Colin Kaepernick ignited a national conversation about race and justice in the USA with far-reaching consequences for football, society and for him, personally,” said DuVernay. “Colin’s story has much to say about identity, sports and the enduring spirit of protest and resilience. I couldn’t be happier than to tell this story with the team at Netflix.”
This hefty academic book suggests that Colin Kaepernick, like so many inspirational Black activist athletes in the past, will be vindicated, idolized and eventually considered a legend. A process that is beginning to take place with numerus books Kaepernick’s protest and life, along with documentaries such as the Netflix production Colin in Black & White, a scripted limited series from Kaepernick and Academy Award® Nominee and Emmy Award® Winner Ava DuVernay.
Despite the continuing disdain towards Colin Kaepernick in many social, political and sporting circles, Kaepernick’s protest appears to have been vindicated after the world saw live images of George Floyd being killed by former police officer Derek Chauvin, Amaud Abery gunned down by white vigilantes, and sadly when Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty killing two people.
# Take A Knee: The Political Awakening of Colin Kaepernick is an extremely important book, because it challenges readers to question if exercising ones first amendment right to freedom of speech and the right to protest, is only acceptable if the method of protest excludes sitting, kneeling or raising a fist, during the playing of the US national anthem, especially when the issues of concern revolve around racism and police brutality.
Constantine-Simms’s says, “Like it or not, the act of taking a knee has become so iconic, that when anyone takes a knee at any sporting event, we all know what’s going on, just like we know what’s going on when badly behaved law enforcement officers continue to escape justice, while their victims are unable to escape their premature demise.
This book concludes by asserting that despite contemporary Black Lives Matter protests and the gains of the Civil Rights era, the long-standing conflict between the African American community and the police, continues to be the reason why Black sports activists like Colin Kaepernick took a stand by taking a knee and will continue to do so for some time to come.