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Panel of Hercules Slaying the Lernean Hydra: The second labor of Hercules was to slay the monstrous Lernean Hydra. From the murky waters of its swampy den, the hydra rises up whenever challenged and attacks with the poisonous venom of its nine heads, one head of which is immortal and therefore indestructible. Not a beast of easy prey for anyone who dares to challenge it in mortal combat. Hercules ultimately slays the hydra by calling upon Iolaus – One of the divine mythic-hero Argonauts – to help him prevent the hydra’s ninth and final immortal head from endlessly regenerating itself against him until Hercules finally has the better of the beast.
Panel of Hercules Slaying the Lernean Hydra: The second labor of Hercules was to slay the monstrous Lernean Hydra. From the murky waters of its swampy den, the hydra rises up whenever challenged and attacks with the poisonous venom of its nine heads, one head of which is immortal and therefore indestructible. Not a beast of easy prey for anyone who dares to challenge it in mortal combat. Hercules ultimately slays the hydra by calling upon Iolaus – One of the divine mythic-hero Argonauts – to help him prevent the hydra’s ninth and final immortal head from endlessly regenerating itself against him until Hercules finally has the better of the beast.

 

Colin Kaepernick’s Herculean-like combat that has led him from the football gridiron into the American Coliseum’s arena can be likened to yet another modern mythic-hero who has taken on the American Empire and its modern civilization’s many-headed VIPERSVicious, Industrial, Political, Economic, Regimented Systems – who will venomously attack whoever dares threaten them with combat.

The warrior Kaepernick has chosen for his weapons of choice the simple bending of a knee as a gesture of respect and U.S. Constitution to call into question the Empire’s constant misuse, misinformation and mislead of the people and their grasp of the meaning and real truths that underlie the Empire’s most sacro sanct symbols of the Flag, National Anthem and U.S. Constitution itself.

The same venomous sting that Kaepernick has felt has been felt by every other famous personage who has ever dared to take on the same Herculean, David versus Goliath role, no matter how powerful they may be, or however lofty may be the prominence of the platform they have achieved in life, to call into question whatever the basic flaws and contradictions are that exist within the ideology of their nation and its civilization.

The hate and collusion being waged against Kaepernick from many different quarters – President Trump & his administration, the NFL’s owners, the Corporate Media – is the same venomous hatred and collusion that has ever been waged against so many other warrior-combatants – like Charles Manning, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Anita Hill and untold others – who have also dared to take on all the VIPERS. Every whistleblower who has ever been screwed by their employer; every man or women who has ever been unfairly passed over for a job or promotion by someone less qualified or less worthy; every citizen who has ever had their civil and human rights violated, as spelled out under the Constitution of the United States; will immediately understand and readily identify with the plight of the ex San Francisco 49er, and now unemployed, ostracized and blackballed, Colin Kaepernick.

Now we come to the latest episode in this mythic-like battle of collusion and subterfuge that began to be played out in New York on Monday when NFL Player Association repesentatives, NFL owners, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Colin Kaepernick’s attorney, Mark Gregoros, and others began to gather and pow-wow in various different locations in preparation for the Tuesday start of the two-day annual meeting of the NFL’s 32 owners to be held at the Conrad New York Hotel in Manhattan.

This annual meeting of the NFL owners will discuss many grevious social issues, like supporting with the help of their players, a criminal justice reform bill to reduce mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders; for which Colin Kaepernick’s original Take-A-Knee led protest has become a critically-important lightning rod. The NFL’s owners should be eternally grateful and publically commend Kaepernick at their annual meeting that they now have a great opportunity in which to play a key integral part. Yet though Colin Kaepernick actually has been living in New York’s Lower Manhatten, no one has deemed to invite him to the NFL owners meeting. When asked why not, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart somewhat imperiously replied, “I’m not aware of any consideration”.

To many, such an attitude of aloffness among the NFL’s owners comes as no surprise and is considered neither an accidental faux pas nor a matter of sheer coincidence that Kaepernick isn’t currently on any NFL team roster; when Kaepernick once led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2013, and so many NFL teams already are suffering from a serious lack of experienced quarterbacks due to on-going injuries throughout the league. Whether because of some serious faux pas, sheer coincidence, ostracization or intentional blackball, such avoidance is, in itself, a clear testament to the disdain or perhaps even hatred and collusion that has quietly gone on behind the NFL owners closed doors. Kaepernick and his attorney Mark Garagos, handling his grievance of collusion against the NFL’s owners, need not have to try to prove collusion because it’s self-evident by what all thus far has transpired.

However, like all the similar nefarious, hidden back room manuevers and intrigues that have ever gone on in the past with the plight of government whistleblowers like Charles Manning, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Anita Hill, one will never learn the full story of the massive collusion that has been conspired against Kaepernick.

What the NFL owners, along with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his staff, apparantly instead prefer is not to give Kaepernick any further platform from which to launch his perspective but to use their own platform to spin the outcome of their two-day meeting the way they want. The bottomline of what they want to see happen is that henceforth every athlete, coach and their staff will dutifully stand, at the beginning of each game, in front of the Flag and, without taking-a-knee or raising a fist, pay tribute to the singing of the Star Spangled Banner National Anthem. With the expectation that then things can again continue as ‘business as usual’ as the NFL’s immensly-profitable foot ball season, that represents the world’s highest-grossing sports league, can proceed as before, while side-stepping any further sponser or fan-based backlash; and at the same time avoid any further fractious debate, however meaningful the polemics may be, regarding the historical truths or untruths of which the National Anthem bespeaks.

The reality, however, already has revealed that the whole issue surrounding the Flag and the National Anthem has once again enflamed the vast cultural, racial, historical and militaristic prejudices and biases that separate the two watersheds of a seriously-divided America. One America sees the union as a democratice work-in-progress that still has a very, very long way to go in the progress of racial, gender and economic equality, and advocates living according to the letter of the law as spelled out by the tenets of the U.S. Constitution. Its slogan is Live It Not Just Love It!

Whereas the other America sees the union more in simplistic, black-and-white terms that looks upon NFL athlete’s taking a knee, however much they may call it a “gesture of respect”, as a form of disrespect; much in the same way that back in the early days of the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War, or when Muhammed Ali refused the draft because of his Muslim religious beliefs, the proponents of this same America saw them all as nothing more than radicals, commies, draft-dodgers or hippies who disrespected the veterans who had fought and died to earn them the right to protest on a football field, some street corner or wherever. This America’s slogan is My Country Right or Wrong So Love it or Leave It, Bud!

Sadly, this is the dominant America that continues to prevail, whose empire still refuses to make any meaningful change to its gun laws, no matter how many massacres of innocent people will continue to happen. It’s the same proponents of an American empire that refuses to cease and desist from all its war armament production and military adventurism that continues to overthrown regimes and provoke armed conflict everwhere in the world.

All this America wants and desires every Monday night, Sunday day and night and Thursday night is to see the jets fly mightily overhead while the Flag waves, the National Anthem rings out and the referee then shouts, “Play Ball!” It’s dismissive of the other America who is now saying to the NFL owners, the Trump Administration and America’s sports fan base, “I don’t care how long you’ve been watching football, If they don’t stand up for all the children, turn off the damn TV!”

The NFL Owners during their two-day meeting at the Conrad Hotel in Manhattan may continue to try to run from what Kaepernick and his player supporters will try to bring to the table for discussion, but they cannot forever hide.

Jerome Irwin is a freelance writer and author of “The Wild Gentle Ones; A Turtle Island Odyssey” (www.turtle-island-odyssey.com), a three volume account of his travels as a spiritual sojourner, during the 1960’s, 70’s & 80’s, among Native American & First Nation peoples in North America. It encompasses the Indigenous Spiritual Renaissance & Liberation Movements that emerged throughout North America during the civil rights era. In addition to being a long-time political activist and organizer, Irwin has authored over the years a number of environmental, political, cultural, spiritual articles with special emphasis on Native Americans, First Nations, Australian aboriginals, and native peoples of Israel, Gaza, Palestine and Syria. Irwin also is the publisher of The Wild Gentle Press. jerome_irwin@yahoo.com

 

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