Legendary Notre Dame Head Coach Lou Holtz chats with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson about Colin Kapernick and more. Press Play Below To Listen!
Last NFL season, Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the playing of the U.S. national anthem.
All indications point to the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback acknowledging wrongdoings of African Americans and minorities like Eric Garner and Philando Castile, who were brutally murdered by police officers.
”I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL network’s Steve Wyche during the NFL’s preseason last year.
“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Kaepernick would later kneel instead of deciding to not participate during the playing of the U.S. national anthem before NFL games.
This has created a huge debate: Is it about the flag? Or is it about police brutality?
It depends on who you ask. “Why did he contribute to the fugitive in Cuba who is a police killer, who escaped,” legendary Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz asked me during this week’s episode of Scoop B Radio.
“That is the only contribution that I know he made.”
The contribution that Coach Holtz is referring to is a $25,000 donation Kaepernick made in April to Assata’s Daughter, a group named after a convicted cop killer and former Black Liberation Army member, Assata Shakur. This was part of the embattled quarterback’s $1million charitable pledge.
As per The Daily Mail’s, Keith Griffith, Shakur is the godmother to late rapper Tupac Shakur. She was convicted in the 1973 shooting death of a New Jersey state trooper. Shakur broke out of jail and fled to Cuba.
Coach Holtz holds a 249-132-7 coaching record most notably with Notre Dame. Holtz, 80, guided his Fighting Irish team to a College National Championship win in 1988. He remains 11th on the NCAA’s all-time win list for Division I-A coaches.
Holtz believes that old school values that he learned should apply to Kaepernick’s story. “Respect the town and respect for elders,” he said. “Respect for teachers, respect for coaches, and respect for the law. I have had unfair things done and I have gotten a ticket because I have been in Oklahoma and the coach thought we beat him. And the policeman gave me a ticket.And there wasn’t a god darn thing I could do about it. You know what? Life isn’t always fair.”
Holtz broke it down further by comparing it to a criminal case that changed the way the world’s perspective on a lot: the O.J. Simpson verdict. “I don’t believe by any stretch of the imagination that O.J. Simpson didn’t murder the people,” he said.
“However, a judge and jury of his peers found him innocent. I don’t agree with that, but you know what? That’s the judgement! So I have to accept that. This is what our country is about. It’s not always about fair.”
A year later, Kaepernick’s refusal has triggered other athletes like the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the Houston Rockets’ Chris Paul and Oklahoma City Thunder forward, Carmelo Anthony to become vocal about police brutality of minorities. NFL players have also taken cues throughout the season with players like Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sitting on a Gatorade cooler while the national anthem was played. “So many times we hear about police brutality and that it is wrong and if it is wrong they should be punished and they should be penalized and we should not overlook it,” said Holtz.
“But it is not up to us to take it into our hands and start murdering police because we don’t like what they do or anything else. Let us go believe in the system and make any changes that we need to make.”
Kaepernick, led the San Francisco 49ers to an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII and was in a contract year when he took the public stance. Now an NFL free agent, it seems that nobody is willing to take a chance on him, even a backup QB in the NFL.
Kaepernick wasn’t the only topic that Holtz chatted about on Scoop B Radio while making an appearance to promote his Lou’s Lads foundation which includes a trip to Ireland via Executive Global Tours.
Coach Lou also discussed current NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. He believes that the commissioner needs more organization on the issue of players kneeling. Holtz is not a fan of NFL Players taking a knee and has been outspoken about it. He says that players should go to inner city neighborhoods and be influential in their community, rather than kneeling. “We have 32 NFL teams in major cities,” he said.
“Why can’t we organize the players from those teams as well as from the NBA and Major League Baseball. Let’s go into the cities and teach our young children how to make good choices and how important it is to get an education. Whatever happens, we teach them to make good choices.”
“Let me give you an example last year I had some wonderful things happen to me as a former coach of Notre Dame. I had two players who played for me, admitted into the NFL Hall of Fame that is pretty good. They are proud and tremendous that is three players that played for me, last year that are in the Notre Dame Coaching staff. I have two players last year that were added to the board of trustees at Notre Dame, that is no small feat. All those athletes are afro-american and have all accomplished great things. I am not taking credit for it they all came from different backgrounds. They all had every reason to be bitter and be upset but what their parents and I like to think we contributed was: let’s make good choices with your life and what you do. If we can teach people to make better choices, we would have a much better world and a more equal world.”