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Douglas Andrews / April 1, 2022

Harbaugh Honors Kaepernick

Why did the Michigan football coach choose a race-obsessed anti-American cop-hater to be his team’s honorary captain?

There in the right-hand margin of our home page is a somber, steady reminder of who the real heroes are.

We’re speaking of the plain black rectangle with the solid blue stripe across the middle. Inside the stripe are the words “End of Watch.” Click anywhere on that thin blue line and you’ll be taken to a page that, sadly, is updated almost daily with the name and the face of yet another law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty.

One thing you’ll notice right away is that it’s a diverse page — a page that a Democrat might be forced to concede looks like America. The honored dead are black, brown, and white. They’re men and women. They’re old and young. And they all have this in common: They swore an oath to uphold the law and protect the citizenry.

What that page represents is also a reminder to us just how vile and repugnant is the cop-hating, prison-abolishing, anthem-kneeling message of former NFLer and current woke money-grubber Colin Rand Kaepernick. And it has us slack-jawed at the decision by University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh to name Kaepernick the honorary captain of his team’s annual spring football game on Saturday.

Why on earth would Harbaugh or any other football coach in America honor this man? Sure, the two of them have a history with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, but could Harbaugh not find a single worthy Michigan Man to honor instead? Perhaps, say, someone like former All American lineman Chris Hutchinson, the father of last year’s Heisman Trophy runner-up, Aidan; the guy who went to med school when his football days were over and has since spent his life as an ER doc, including the last two years saving lives on the front lines of COVID-19.

No, Harbaugh instead went for the guy whose Netflix bio-documentary, “Colin in Black & White,” features him claiming that the NFL — the organization that made both him and Harbaugh rich and famous — is akin to modern-day slavery, with players being “poked, prodded, and examined” ahead of the annual NFL draft. There in the film, the league’s executives are juxtaposed with slaveowners, examining the black specimens there on the auction block as the white people bid on them. We only wish we were making this sick stuff up. Of course, Kaepernick’s bizarre comparison merely softens the long-dead evil of slavery. This is rich, too, coming from a guy who was cashing big checks from Nike and thereby helping to enable the Communist Chinese as they oppressed the Tibetans and Mongolians, cracked down on pro-democracy Hong Kongers, and perpetrated a genocide on Muslim Uyghurs.

“Colin Kaepernick compares the NFL combine,” Outkick’s Clay Travis observes, “which allows all players of all races a voluntary chance to become multi-millionaires, to slavery. Anyone still defending this imbecile lacks a functional brain.”

Here, though, we disagree. Harbaugh is a smart dude — shrewd as all get-out, and pathologically competitive. Anyone who’s talked to him or tangled with him can tell you that he’s always competing, always angling. Does he think this stunt will give him street cred in woke black households? Probably. But at what cost with other families? And how many woke households produce young men of football mettle, anyway?

Regardless, we think it’s a big mistake to assume that all — or even most — black families are in agreement with Kaepernick’s desire to abolish the police. Not just defund, no, abolish. Check with black Americans in the gritty neighborhoods, where the living is raw and day-to-day, and you’ll see that most of them want more cops on the beat, not less. Gallup confirms this: A whopping 81% of blacks want the same, or more, police presence in their neighborhoods.

Sure, it might be true that elite blacks like former Michigan Heisman Trophy winners Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson like the choice of Kap as captain, but they live in really nice neighborhoods now.

So we wonder: Is this move designed to endear Harbaugh to the liberal elites of Ann Arbor, one of the most nauseatingly progressive cities in the entire nation? Maybe. Does Harbaugh, the devout Catholic — the guy who has literally given the shirt off his back to poor Peruvian villagers — want to help rehabilitate his former 49er quarterback, the now-ostracized signal-caller who helped get Harbs to his only Super Bowl? We think there’s something to this. Kaepernick can still sling it, and some folks think he deserves another shot in the NFL. He’s 10 years younger than Tom Brady, but the clock is ticking. We also think Kaepernick’s woke schtick has begun to wear thin, and that he knows he’ll never get another chance unless he tones it down.

So he’s toning it down. “He’s a really nice, positive dude, it’s great to have him here,” said Wolverine lineman Kris Jenkins. “We’re excited to have him as our honorary captain for the spring game, and also excited to have him throw the ball around a little bit at halftime.”

Recall that Kaepernick sparked national outrage back in 2016 when he took a knee for the national anthem, and that he hasn’t played in the NFL since. Mostly because he stunk that year, but also because he was toxic to the fan base. And he still is. But if his message to Wolverine players on Wednesday evening is any indication, he’s trying to rebrand himself. Did he tell the young men to fight the power? Stand up to the man? Defund the cops? Nope, nope, and nope. “Grind for the life you want,” he said. “Work hard. Work hard to achieve. The days are going to be tough; you’re going to work your butt off and you’ve got to push through. You’ve got to take that extra inch when everybody else is relaxing.”

That sounds like something a conservative would say. Or the keynote speaker at a sales conference.

It’ll be interesting to see how Harbaugh handles it on Saturday when Kaepernick is introduced to what we suspect will be equal parts cheers and boos. What will he say about it afterward?

Here, he might win a few points if he used it as a teaching moment; if he said something like, “Colin and I disagree deeply on some important issues, but one thing we both believe in is free speech.”

We’re not sure if that’s even true, of course. But we suspect Harbaugh doesn’t hate cops, doesn’t think we should do away prisons, and doesn’t think the Nike Air Max 1s with the commemorative Betsy Ross flag should’ve been yanked off of store shelves because they conjured up images of slavery.

On the other hand, we wonder whether he thinks, like Joe Biden and Colin Kaepernick do, that 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse is a “white supremacist.”

This author too thinks Kaepernick should get another chance — not because I like him, but because I’m sick of him whining about how the league has blacklisted him. The 49ers went 3-16 during Kaepernick’s starts in his last two years in the league. Maybe woke Seattle would take a flyer on him, but he’d be bad for business most everywhere else.

The truth is, Colin Kaepernick alienated football fans all across the country, and many of them have never come back. For that reason, most bottom-line NFL owners don’t think he’s worth the trouble. But that’s entirely their prerogative in a free society. Just as it’s Kaepernick’s prerogative to wear “pig” socks and kneel for the anthem. Just as it’s Jim Harbaugh’s prerogative to make him an honorary captain. Just as it’s our prerogative to tune them out or give them the middle finger.

We reap what we sow.

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