by G. Brown
Usually when the issue of “Black Hair” comes up, it’s about women in the workplace who may be sporting natural locks or braids that are considered ‘inappropriate” for the corporate world. So how did we leap from White people telling Blacks how to wear their hair, to Blacks telling Black people how to wear their hair for success?
Enter former Steelers, Falcons, Jets and Eagles QB Mike Vick who decided that all NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick needs to do to land a multi-million dollar contract is assimilate. Vick said while appearing on the FOX sports show “Speak for Yourself”….”The first thing we got to get Colin to do is cut his hair. I don’t think he should represent himself in that way in terms of the hairstyle. Just go clean cut. Why not? Perception and image is everything. I love the guy to death, but I want him to succeed on and off the field, and this has to be a start for him.” Clean cut? So a fro’ or natural represents—what’s the opposite of ‘clean cut’–a dirty, criminal or thug?
Vick’s comments managed to make him the public enemy of many football fans and other former pro ballers. Wide Receiver Terrell Owens (T.O.) says Vick’s comments about Kaepernick’s hair were “ridiculous” and irrelevant saying to TMZ Sports ,”I don’t think that has anything to do with him not being on the team the way he looks or his hair style.”
And football fans agree Kaepernick’s lack of a contract has nothing to do with his hair and is all about his outspoken stance as a political activist.
Perhaps one of the most emphatic tweets included this GIF…
Michael Vick stopped putting his pit bulls to fight and he thinks he can tell Colin Kaepernick to cut his hair? Have a seat Mike. pic.twitter.com/egyO8AjVng
— Mozo✊🏾🇩🇴 (@famzmozo) July 18, 2017
Vick seems to have forgotten his own look before the ‘clean cut’ image he now thinks he’s now sporting. Back when he had long hair that he kept in corn rows, Vick did have an image problem and it had nothing to do with his hair and everything to do dog fighting. In 2007, Vick was suspended by the NFL for violating player conduct policy when he was tied to a dog fighting operation—a practice that is not only illegal but cruel to the animals. Vick pleaded guilty to the federal charges. Perhaps Vick was trying to offer some words of wisdom from experience, but it sounded more like a “do what White people want” so you can still have a job.
Apparently, it sounded that way to Colin Kaepernick as well who tweeted a response to Vick’s comment with a definition of ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ implying that Vick has been brainwashed by White people…
If talent doesn’t get you the job—if know how, skill, hard work and proven leadership doesn’t get you the job,then selling your soul to ‘blend in’ will lose you more than you gain. Black people have tried bleaching their skin, using harmful products to straighten their hair, surgery to make their noses thinner, implants to change the color of their eyes all to try and be accepted. If you make changes because you choose to that’s cool, but doing so in hopes that others will accept you is a slave mentality. Vick followed up with his comment with a tweet that “I stand by what I’ve said about him…I think he is a great kid who has a bright future…Trust and believe what I said was not in malice.” Sadly, it was in malice. Sounds like Vick has a case of self-hatred like a lot of brothers and sisters who think if only I were lighter, or White, life would be better.
What do you think…is hair the thing that’s keeping Kaepernick from landing a new contract? Is Vick right, Black people should assimilate to land a job? Or are some of the fans right, the only reason why teams are rushing in to hire Kaepernick is because he stood for what he believed by protesting?