Why San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl QB Colin Kaepernick Transcends Race
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Perhaps it was inevitable, but the media has finally inserted the issue of race on this Super Bowl Sunday. For once, can't we please just watch a game without the need to introduce divisive commentary about white and black?
Kaepernick is of mixed race. He was adopted by a Caucasian family and raised in Turlock, California. He attended the University of Nevada and never made an issue of his mixed race. He is as comfortable being white as he is black. He is both, and he is neither. He is Colin Kaepernick, and he transcends race.
Certainly, I do not mean to diminish the importance of eradicating racism in every facet of the game and in life. Racism in all its forms is despicable.
It was, ironically, the University of Nevada that helped break the NFL color barrier when another Wolf Pack player, Marion Motley, made the transition from Mackay Stadium in Reno to the big stage. Motley went on to have an NFL Hall of Fame career, and the University of Nevada community is immensely proud to have been the college that made that possible.
We all know about Jackie Robinson. Few fans know who Motley was. Now you know the role Nevada played in breaking the NFL color barrier.
It is interesting that, perhaps, in this Super Bowl, Nevada will once again play a role in taking the game and the nation one step further.
When one is both white and black, arbitrarily choosing to identify oneself as one race or the other is, by definition, making a racial choice, a racial preference. Perhaps we have evolved as society enough now to move past that, to transcend race, to stop thinking of people as white or black and start just thinking of them as people in the true spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King's dream—that we be judged by the content of our character.
The character of Colin Kaepernick is becoming clear. He is not only teaching us about the pistol offense, how he and it are changing the game, but he is teaching us something much more important. Colin Kaepernick is a racially transcendental figure. He is more than his race. He's just Colin.
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