Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand during the National Anthem at his National Football League games last year, has an adviser: a political activist and “sports sociologist.”
Kaepernick is currently without an NFL employer after alienating fans with his protests and, subsequently, opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers. But, Harry Edwards, Kaepernick’s activist/sociologist adviser, is out doing interviews to drum up interest in Kaepernick.
Edwards, invented the profession of “sports sociologist” and is credited by his alma mater, Vanderbilt, for sparking political protests by black U.S. athletes at the 1968 Olympics:
“He may be best known for his call for black athletes to boycott the United States 1968 Olympic team in order to dramatize the racial inequities confronting blacks in sport and society. The movement resulted in demonstrations by black athletes across the nation and at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.”
These days, Edwards hasn’t backed off from his activism while promoting and advising Kaepernick – even going so far as to contact the Smithsonian Institute to convince them to create an exhibit honoring the quarterback for performing political activism and protesting the national anthem during work hours while on-the-job in the NFL:
“If he did nothing else but what he has managed to achieve he belongs in the Smithsonian right next to Ali, right next to Smith and Carlos, right next to Arthur Ashe and Jim Brown and Bill Russell. Right next to all of those trailblazers who came through the locker room door in an effort to advance and enlighten us all.
“When I contacted the Smithsonian (new National Museum of African American History and Culture), I told them they shouldn’t wait another five or six years to get Kap’s shoes, jersey and photo of the Time magazine cover and a photo of him kneeling. They need to do that now. They absolutely agreed.”
Edwards is author of “The Revolt of the Black Athlete” and professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.