Maybe if we had listened to Colin Kaepernick nearly four years ago, we would not be here.

Maybe if we had taken the time to realize WHY he was peacefully kneeling during the national anthem instead of vilifying him for “disrespecting the flag,” we as a nation could have been working towards solutions on how to stop police brutality.

Unfortunately, because we did not listen to him and decide to make him out to be the bad guy, police brutality is still taking place, but now we are witnessing chaos, anger and violence in these streets.

THIS is exactly what Kaepernick was talking about. He was not protesting the flag, the anthem or the men and women who have served this country. He was protesting the treatment that people of color were receiving from police officers.

Back in 2016, he used his platform to protest this issue that has not been resolved with hopes that we as a nation would have a real conversation towards it and work towards change. And what did we do about that? Nothing. We fumbled the opportunity to make change.

And what happened to Kaepernick for trying to use his huge platform to address this issue, doing so peacefully I might add? He was blackballed by the NFL. He was chastised for it. He was called a “son of a bitch,” by the damn president.

Worst of all, we saw that continuing the method of peacefully protesting does not work. Which is unfortunate because here we are now in 2020 with the same problem. Only the response to this issue has changed.

Cities are being turned upside down. Windows are being broken. Buildings are being set on fire. People are losing their businesses because of those fires. You want to know why? Because people are tired of this shit going on. We are tired of our voices not being heard.

Warriors player Eric Paschall tweeted this today and he could not have worded it any better.

During this time of rioting and looting, there have been many people condemning the violence that has been taken place. One of those is current VP Mike Pence *rolls eyes*.

This is the same Mike Pence that was so outraged by the peaceful protest in 2017 when the 49ers were playing the Indianapolis Colts, that he stormed out and tweeted about how outraged he was about the kneeling and disrespect of the flag.

Mike Pence, this you?

No matter which way people protest, people are going to have a problem with it. Whether it is peaceful like Colin Kaepernick or whether they take the violent approach.

Also, might I remind the “burning things and looting isn’t going to solve anything,” crowd about the Nike Ad that they made Colin Kaepernick the face of. The one where people were so outraged that they boycotted Nike and burned their Nike belongings. They were so upset that a man who used his platform to PEACEFULLY protest police brutality was the face of a big corporation’s ad that they decided to boycott and burn their stuff.

So tell me, what is the right way to go about this ? Because the peaceful protests have not been working. Not just for Kaepernick, but for all athletes or anyone with a large platform. When they speak out, they are usually mocked. Told to stick to sports. Told to “shut up and dribble” by conservative commentators.

No one wanted to listen to Kaepernick’s peaceful protests. No one wanted athletes to use their platform to encourage change. No one wanted to have that conversation because it is a touchy subject for them and will cause controversy among us, and there lies the problem.

However, because we were not willing to have this conversation, here we are in 2020, with heavy hearts and a divided nation, which is sad and disappointing.