Football 2

Colin Kaepernick Remains Off The Field After Atlanta Workout

Colin Kaepernick and the NFL have truly had a tumultuous and complicated past. Kaepernick wasn’t picked up by any national team back in 2017 after he famously kneeled during the National Anthem before multiple games as a means of protesting police brutality and racial injustice in the United States. After a few incidents of this, Donald Trump tweeted that any player who participates in protests such as this one, should be “fired.” While Kaepernick wasn’t technically “fired” but rather released as a free agent, he still up-kept his discontent in the NFL “blackballing” him for performing his first amendment rights, this led to Kaepernick filing an official grievance against the NFL back in 2017, which has since been confidentially settled upon, this past spring. 

Now, Kaepernick has attempted to work his way back into the league, but not without even more hardship and troubles by the NFL. The former quarterback recently performed a workout run and warm up for eight NFL team representatives, however, this workout was set up by Kaepernick himself after the NFL already invited him to the league’s official workout run in which 25 team representatives attended. Kaepernick and his team denied the invitation to attend their official event after they thought it out to be a “publicity stunt destined to fail” according to the Associated Press

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“Kaepernick’s side wanted to open the workout to the media to ensure transparency. The NFL said it made clear from the start the workout would be closed to the media. Kaepernick’s camp said the NFL agreed to provide a list of team representatives who committed to coming. The league later shifted and did not share that list,” according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC).

As previously stated instead of attending the NFL’s event, Kaepernick held his own event at a high school field in Riverdale, 60 miles from the leagues event, in front of eight representatives, he as well sent a video from his own event to the 25 representatives who were at the official league workout. Now, over a week later, Kaepernick hasn’t heard back from any representatives in the NFL. 

The lack of response most likely comes from the amount of controversy that surrounded the actual work out itself. Kaepernick and his team were skeptical from the beginning about doing anything that could benefit the NFL and further hurt his own career. According to the AJC, representatives from Kaepernick’s team stated that, in addition to the media shut out from the work out, the NFL made the original offer and stated that the former quarterback only had two hours to accept it, even though the invitation was made days before the actual workout. That quick timing was convincing to the team that the NFL was purely creating a publicity opportunity to make it seem as if they were giving Kaepernick a real opportunity that would end with no real follow through. 

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“Kaepernick’s representatives said the NFL ‘demanded’ as a precondition for the workout that he sign an ‘unusual liability waiver.’ Kaepernick’s side says it was concerned that not only did the NFL document seek to waive employment rights, but it contained a clause that would give the NFL and its teams commercials rights to the workout footage that could be used for what it called ‘phony’ public service announcements,” (AJC). 

The combination of back and forth argument between Kaepernick’s team and the NFL painted two very stark sides to the story, that ultimately ended up hurting Kaepernick yet again in the end. The untrustworthy nature of the NFL that they have embedded into Kaepernick based on their past treatment of the star quarterback, created a narrative around this workout before it even became official. Because of this, Kaepernick stuck to his own terms and showed off his skills in his own way. The clips from his workout ended up going viral online, with a slew of supporters tweeting about how “Kaepernick still got it!” and re opened the debate over why this man was “terminated” in the first place. Regardless, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Kaepernick on the field, it’s just a matter of time, open conversation, and understanding among player and industry.


Tyler Perry Opens Groundbreaking 330 Acre Studio In Atlanta

Tyler Perry has opened his own studio this past week in Atlanta, Georgia, residents and African Americans in the industry alike are now referring to the famous Georgia city as “Black Hollywood”. The plot of land is 330 acres and this weekend it brought together every major African American star for its grand opening gala event. Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé, her husband Jay-Z, Cicely Tyson, Sidney Poitier, director Ava DuVernay, and so many others joined together to support Perry’s major accomplishment and rejoiced to finally have a space where African American Hollywood stars, established and up and coming, will be able to thrive and be given more opportunities than ever. The studio cost $250 million, contains 12 large studio spaces named after esteemed black performers, and was built on a site that originally was a Confederate Army base, according to CNN

“I could feel our ancestors’ presence. Surrounded by my heroes, I watched Denzel, Queen Oprah, Spike, Whoopi, Sir (Sidney) Poitier, Will, Halle, Dame Cicely (Tyson) and our angels John Singleton and Diahann Carroll honored. The Armand de Brignac crashed against each soundstage as fireworks lit up the sky. Generations of blood, sweat and tears, success, excellence and brilliance. It makes me so proud, so full, I could not stop crying. Thank you my Virgo brother for so much love and passion put into every detail. My prayer today is that you will take it all in. You inspire me to dream even bigger” said Beyonce Knowles-Carter in an Instagram tribute to Perry.

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Dozens of other prominent African American cultural figures also praised Perry online, emphasizing that he is the epitome of the American Dream for any minority that has felt like they’ll never be able to grasp the same opportunities in the mainstream. Perry is famously known for being self-made and pulling himself out from being a homeless playwright nearly two decades ago. In 2006 he became the first African American to open his own studio, which was also in Atlanta, but not nearly as expansive as this one. Since the opening of that studio he’s made countless movies which have grossed around $900 million. 

Perry originally purchased part of the army base property back in 2015 and finalized the purchase later that year. He’s nowhere near done though, and plans on keeping up the expansion of the studio to offer as much work and opportunity as possible. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution did an interview with Perry about his monumental accomplishment, to which he compared to having a child, and his future plans for the studio’s development. 

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“Perry said he plans to open his studio for tours for school children by next summer. He’s also planning an up to 3,000-seat theater for concerts and other events. Frustrated by a lack of development outside his complex, Perry said he also plans restaurants and retail on the grounds of his studios, which he said he wants to become a weekend destination for tourists and the community,” according to the AJC

He also wants to create community centers, specifically for victims of human trafficking to find a safe haven. The expansions he predicts will be done within the next three years. With all he’s invested, Perry intends on maintaining full power and control over the space, but has designated multiple studio spaces to lease out to other filmmakers as a part of his greater goal of expanding the market for new African American creators and talents.