Ben Shapiro On  Colin Kaepernick

We’ve been trying to avoid political commentary that has a high likelihood of devolving, but now that some time has passed, we thought it was a good time to attempt to unpack the mess that is Ben Shapiro on Colin Kaepernick. A different approach we’re going to take on this particular subject, is we’re going to give Ben’s position on Kaepernick at different times and different settings (his show vs other shows) throughout the ongoing saga.

Essentially it’s come to our attention that, though it’s true to some degree of everyone, that Mr. Shapiro has a way of “playing to his audience” depending on who is interviewing him. We’ll do the briefest of recaps and then provide Ben’s commentary.

In the fall of 2016, San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem before the game was to take place. Kaepernick, who had some brief success in the league before being benched just prior to the incident, stated in his own words after the game that the protest “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. 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.”

While his coach and the NFL seemed fine with this form of protest, much of the country went insane and Kaepernick became the center of a media firestorm that simultaneously engulfed both the countries most successful sports league and the largest sports brand in the world (Nike).

Shapiro was immediately irate and argued, in a 2016 episode of his show, that America made Kaepernick, a black man, a multi-millionaire (several times over) and that casts doubt on the so called narrative of oppression. However, to Shapiro’s credit, he did say that this “would not prove that racism is not a problem. Black people were rich when Jim Crowe was going on but Jim Crowe is no longer going on.”

Over the next year and half the debate raged on sports and political talk shows around the country until, in 2018, Nike did what brand experts believed was the unthinkable: instead of dropping Kaepernick as a client (they had represented him since he was drafted into the league), they doubled down. Launching, on Sept. 3 2018, the iconic black and white photo of Colin Kaepernick with the words “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

In what is perhaps the most American thing that’s every happened, the Nike stock immediately plunged before exploding to record highs. Conservatives called for boycotts of Nike while liberals endulged in Nike apparel, re-igniting the still controversial debate. Now we return to Ben  who, in the winter of 2018, was pressed by a questioner about Kaepernick, to which he argued that Kaepernick “does not have the (legal) right to kneel during the anthem before games”, stating that he believes private businesses (such as the NFL) have the right to control what and how their brand is used to make statements.

Ben Shapiro on Joe Rogan talking about Colin Kaepernick

Alas we arrive back in good old 2020, where Rogan pressed Shapiro on his views on Kaepernick. Rogan, who had once been critical of Kaepernick, asked Shapiro simply “don’t you think him doing that raised awareness for police brutality? Let people understand that this is in fact a problem.” To this Ben simply responded “No”, however we’ve chosen to embed the full video clip below and we encourage readers to watch it (in its entirety) and come to their own conclusions.

As always, should we become aware that Ben has changed his opinion or should new evidence be submitted that we have either misconstrued his opinion or failed to include important statements from him, we will 1) make the correction, 2) note the correction here, 3) issue a mea culpa that attempts to explain and improve on how we missed this. 

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