Steve Harvey: Kaepernick, Integrity and the “Money Game.”

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( Recently, in thumbing through my computer to satisfy my intellectual curiosity, as I sometimes do, a video and story on the site caught my eye. Steve Harvey was interviewing Mo’nique and the topic of integrity came up. In an intense exchange, here is what Mo’nique said, “Before the money game, it’s called the integrity game and we’ve lost the integrity worried about the money,”  To which Steve Harvey replied, “If I crumble, my children crumble, my grandchildren crumble. I cannot for the sake of my integrity stand up here and let everybody that’s counting on me crumble so that I can make a statement. There are ways to win the war in a different way.” The implication of Mr. Harvey’s statement, was  he lacked integrity in certain instances, when it came to making money.  Here is the link to the video:

Steve Harvey, to his credit, later reflected and said he regretted his choice of words. He said this, “I take full responsibility for it; it came out my mouth so I can’t say that I didn’t say it,… “But to people that really know me, I have lived my whole life as a man of integrity. So when I was referring to ‘integrity’ in that interview, I was talking about the method in which things were being done, and that is all it was.”

When Mr. Kaepernick, in 2016, in a preseason game in August against the Green Bay Packers, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California did not stand for the national anthem and spoke, (at that time) as a man of integrity, these words, “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. …,” he became part of a cause greater than himself.

He became part of a cause, whose Genesis was in Sanford, Florida, in 2012. Blacks citizens of Sanford, and a large number of protesters from around the nation – an estimated crowd, as high as 10,000 – gathered in protest, because of the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. Demonstrations and pickets in Sanford,  spread across the entire nation from California to New York city. The cause became a movement, with its own identifier, Black Lives Matter (BLM).

Mr. Kaepernick and his campaign of kneeling, as it later morphed into during the National Football League (NFL) games, when the national anthem was played, echoed the sentiments of direct action to stop the killings; the same view point as those, “who were already actively protesting.”  African Americans, it was determined, by a Washington Post article published in July, 2016, were being shot and killed by errant police officers and their proxies at two and a half times the rate of whites.

Now, I ask you to reflect, on some events of the last seven years, when it comes to the illegitimate killings of African Americans. Its a story of “integrity lost, when it comes to the money game,” Mr. Kaepernick and NFL players. As, Mr. Harvey, so wisely pointed out above, it comes down to “… the method in which things were being done….”

1)  Trayvon Martin was killed on February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida.

2)  Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed on August 9, 2014, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. The shooting prompted protests that created racial turbulence in the area for months.

3)  On July 6, 2016, Philando Castile, a 32-year-old Black American, was pulled over while driving in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and killed by Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony, Minnesota police officer.

4)  The Washington Post real time data based story was published in July, 2016.

5)  Mr. Kaepernick, in August, 2016, protested the abuses and killings of Black Americans.

6)  President Donald Trump, berated kneeling league players and their protests, in an Alabama style political rally in Huntsville on September 23, 2017.

7)  Mr. Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers on March 2, 2017, making him a free agent. Kaepernick was alleged to have been  blackballed by owners because of his political stance. In October, 2017, he filed a grievance against NFL owners for collusion. Colin Kaepernick’s collusion grievance against the league was recently concluded with a confidential settlement.  It has been speculated the amount of the settlement, which also included Eric Reid, could be as low as $10 million or as high as $60-80 million.

8)  March, 2018, the  National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) was awarded $89 million by NFL owners to stop kneeling.

Essentially, here is what’s wrong with this financial picture. These are black men (NFLPA is 70% black), who benefited conservatively in the amount of $100 million, off the backs of dead black people, and have yet to spend a single “red cent,” directly dedicated to stopping the killings of our brothers and sisters. Can anyone, consciously take pride in this outcome? Is this what comes to your mind, when you think of men, “living and walking in integrity?”

You have to honestly ask yourself, “Are Mr. Kaepernick’s and NFLPA’s financial wins; are wins for Black America, and its fight for direct solutions” to the abuses and the killings?

Additionally, an argument can be easily made for direct action. Ninety eight percent of the killings of Black Americans is white on black. Recruitment of police officers is down by 50%, due to the protests against the killings. Mr. Kaepernick and NFLPA could fill this need through a national recruitment program, aimed at blacks.  Establishing and operating, such a recruiting program would cost less than 10% of the estimated $100 million – now under their control.

I hear what some of you are already saying, “But, its their money!” My reply to that: If no black folks were illegitimately killed, and continue to be killed – they would not be getting paid. There would have been, no protest movement for them to join! Thus, there would be, no estimated $100 million payday, from NFL owners. The protests over the abuses and killings of black citizens and their subsequent involvement, is what got them the money! Should not part of that money be dedicated, to direct solutions?

Here are the links to two articles, which support more diversity, as a long term solution to the abuses and killings, and the problems associated with recruitment.  Money can resolve these issues, through a national recruitment program.

Staff Writer; James Davis

Mr. Davis is a leading expert and consultant in Financial Analysis and Social Dynamics. He is a graduate of Florida A. and M. University(FAMU), a former stockbroker, and a human rights activist who resides in Sanford, Florida. He was awarded the prestigious Governor Haydon Burns Scholarship to attend FAMU and while at FAMU was awarded the first Martin Luther King Scholarship. He is the author of three books, among them is “The Fix This Time,” Boost Your Retirement Income! Simultaneously Create Jobs and Spur Consumer Demand (

He can be reached through his blog @, (