Remember when Dez Bryant said it was Black people’s responsibility to overcome racism? Well, this week, the free agent returned with another scathing hot take on racial injustice issues when he claimed Colin Kaepernick’s activism had zero call to action. Much like with his remarks in 2017, the 32-year-old was dragged across the internet in 140 characters or less.
Journalist Jemele Hill who was fresh off telling Ohio GOP Senate Candidate Josh Mandel he had reached “peak caucasity,” offered Bryant some insights into Kap’s work.
The heated exchange was triggered by the former Dallas Cowboys star’s appearance on the “I Am Athlete” podcast where he gave his opinion on Kaepernick’s kneeling, which Bryant said only brought awareness. He later accused the former NFL quarterback-turned-activist of essentially abandoning the people for whom he was protesting.
“I respect Colin Kaepernick, but there’s one thing that I don’t respect,” he said. “I said when I get the opportunity, and to get on the stage and say it, I would, and I love him to death. So, it ain’t no hate or nothing like that, but brother, you had the biggest opportunity in the world to create jobs, build jobs, give jobs to people.”
He continued, “The people you was talking about. The people that you were so-called ‘standing up for.’ People who stood beside you, people who lost their jobs because of you. Where you at? I ain’t heard from you. He brought the awareness, and that’s why I respect him.”
Bryant said he valued Kaepernick’s efforts to shed light on various racial and social struggles Black people faced in America. However, when asked what the call to action of his protest was, Bryant said “there wasn’t one.”
Many people on social media blasted the Texas native for his remarks, including Hill who called his statements “uninformed,” before proceeding to school Bryant on several of Kaepernick’s achievements.
“With all due respect @DezBryant, this is uninformed,” she wrote. “Colin Kaepernick has created a publishing company, a SPAC that’s raising $300M for social justice initiatives, a production company, etc. On top of founding the Know Your Rights Camp. I don’t get the point of dragging his name.”
Seemingly upset that Hill called him out on the public platform, Bryant replied, “I’m a product of media hate so I get it.”
He added, “You could have called me & got a better understanding of what I was saying ..but you have your own motive…I’ve reached out to kap for yrs and no response…raising 300 mil would be easy if we had unity amongst athletes.”
Bryant’s post didn’t help his case, as social media users further slammed him, including one Twitter user who wrote, “Unity amongst athletes Colin Kaepernick knelt ALONE. Where was the unity then??????.”
In a since-deleted post, “The Cross Connection” morning political show host Tiffany Cross came to the defense of Hill when she responded to Bryant’s post, writing, “Yet another bad take from this dude.”
She added, “Imagine attacking a Black woman (an accomplished journalist and all-around dope human being at that) on the heels of attacking Kap. All while peddling the *their* talking points.”
Aside from his philanthropic endeavors, Kaepernick is gearing up to release his six-episode Netflix series titled “Colin in Black & White,” co-created by Ava DuVernay. The former athlete debuts his acting skills on Oct. 29.