A few days ago, Sports Illustrated revealed a cover addressing the protests against police brutality and racial inequality via kneeling during the national anthem. The cover was supposed to represent the increasing unity between professional athletes (particularly in the NFL) in protesting both the original issues first brought to attention in this fashion by Colin Kaepernick, as well as the responses by President Trump. There was only one problem: Sports Illustrated didn’t include Kaepernick on the cover.
In a very bizarre editorial decision, Sports Illustrated recently released the cover shown below.
The front row shows LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Roger Goodell linking arms, representing the unity professional athletes and sports organizations have shown as the national anthem protests continue to generate controversy. James and Curry recently jumped to front of the issue when Curry declined an invitation to the White House (typically extended to championship teams of major sports), prompting the president to rescind the invitation, which then prompted James to fire back at the president. Goodell, as commissioner of the NFL, appears there as the head of the sport at the center of the controversy, having recently called the president’s comments “divisive” and saying he was “proud” of the league’s response this past Sunday.
James, Curry, and Goodell are certainly three logical figures to have on the cover given the situation, but many immediately pointed out that it was not who was on the cover, but who wasn’t, namely Colin Kaepernick, whose initial kneeling protest last year was the genesis of the current situation. Stephen Curry himself called it “terrible,” saying:
The real people that understand exactly what’s been going on and who’s really been active and vocal and truly making a difference… if you don’t have Kaepernick front and center on that, then something’s wrong.
Sports Illustrated Executive Editor Steven Cannella defended the cover, saying it was meant to show the emerging “unity” of the sports world and saying “in some ways, even though his picture is not there, Colin Kaepernick is there,” and mentioning that the cover was meant to show the new and emerging voices.
Even with that explanation, it seems utterly bizarre to not put Kaepernick on the cover, given his pivotal role. What are you thoughts? Regardless of your stance on the protests, was the imagery chosen for the cover an appropriate representation from a photographic standpoint?[via Deadspin]
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