Verbal Insult of Saints RB Alvin Kamara Indicates WHY America’s Racism Must End

Mandatory Credit: Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Imagine for just a moment that you have lived somewhere for all of your whole life, in the same place where generation after generation of your family has lived for entire centuries — only to be told by someone that you’re no longer welcome to be there — and you should leave to go back to the native land of your original heritage.

It’s pretty safe to say that nobody ever wants to find themselves in that type of a horrible situation; but yet in a nation that’s supposed to be inclusive of all of its citizens regardless of their skin color, gender, or religious faith, the recent verbal insult directed at 4th year New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara indicates WHY America’s long-lasting problem with racism must come to an end.

For those Saints fans who might have missed it, it was first reported on Sunday afternoon that the 24-year old Kamara was on the receiving end of a verbal insult directed at him by Mandeville, Louisiana resident Jason Perron, on a Facebook post which rudely suggested that the Black and Gold’s immensely popular and top-rated offensive superstar “should go back to Africa”.

Kamara saw the insensitive comment that was directed at him not long afterwards. when he subsequently was sent a screenshot of the post by a friend. Kamara then went on his Twitter account and essentially “called out” Perron by posting the screenshots for all of his followers to see, before responding to Perron’s insult.

Reportedly, Perron later replied to the many people that had taken offense to the comment, who had began to chastise him for making his hurtful statement. In that reply, Perron alleged that it was actually his autistic nephew who had made the comment on his Facebook account, after leaving the app open on his cell-phone.

To be clear: Big Easy Magazine can neither confirm or deny that Perron actually made the comment himself, although it’s important to note that Perron appears to have deleted his Facebook account within the past few days since the incident originally occurred.

Originally. Perron appeared to have typed the comment on a post that featured Kamara’s inner-most thoughts on the current state of race relations in the nation, that he had made last week in a series of Tweets on Twitter. Kamara’s posts were deeply personal observations of his, as he reflected on the on-going protests throughout the country that have occurred following the murder of Minneapolis resident George Floyd.

Photo courtesy of the New Orleans Saints, YouTube

The brutal murder of Floyd by 4 Minneapolis police officers has led to demands for much-needed and long over-due reform of the American criminal justice system, and the further suggestions to defund any police departments throughout the country that have been complicit in the unfair and blatant mistreatment of predominantly African-American citizens and people of color.

Last Thursday, Kamara posted a plethora of Tweets that very specifically gave explicit details about his own personal experiences while growing up as a young person of African-American heritage, in the city and surrounding area of Atlanta, Georgia; where race-relations have been a recurring issue for many decades and likely even for entire centuries.

At the end of the series of Tweets, Kamara made it known that he fully intends to be a willing participant in the anticipated player demonstrations that will include the act of kneeling, which are a form of silent protest against police brutality and social injustice that are being planned for the upcoming 2020 NFL Season.

The protests are a continuation of the original ones that were initially made by former starting San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick during the 2016 NFL Season four years ago. Kaepernick has since been presumably “blackballed” or banned from playing in the League, purportedly by a handful of NFL team owners who disagree or even outright object with Kaepernick’s sentiment, on the state of race relations in the country at the moment.

Photo Credit: John G. Mabanglo, European Press Agency (EPA)

In order, Kamara’s series of Tweets from last Thursday read as follows:

“I’m a 24 year old black man from Atlanta,” Kamara said. “Mother from Africa and an illegal alien for almost [30-some] years until 15 months ago. I’ve seen racism and experienced social injustice personally. Maybe even on a deeper level because my mother had a foreign accent. My license has been valid for as long as i can remember, but for some reason I still peep the rear view a couple times when a cop get behind me… why? Because that’s what I was taught to do”.

“I’ve literally been in a bank and had the cops called on me. Not because i was robbing it.. but because i looked like i could have been robbing it. Oh… the teller was the one that called. I only needed like 200 dollars but i pulled out 10k just to play her ass. I’ve been in nice restaurants and been asked to leave because I can’t wear a hat, or because I was dressed ‘inappropriately’ for the dining room. But, y’all know that mean I was just too black to eat in there that day (lol)”.

“I’m saying all of this to say… until you are black in America, you won’t truly understand what it is to be black in America and that’s fine. But don’t act like this doesn’t exist or isn’t real. Black boys go from ‘cute little kids’ to ‘threatening’ within the same breath even if all they were doing was walking home. And a man walking in the wrong neighborhood becomes a casualty simply because he looks like he doesn’t belong”.

“I’ve been in enough situations where the color of my skin was seen as a big enough threat to cost me my life. And I know there are countless others that that fit my description that could say the same.

“I can kneel confidently because I know that with just that small gesture, a much bigger message is being conveyed. And also within that gesture the voices of those who no longer have a voice can be heard.”

Photo courtesy of the New Orleans Saints, YouTube

This latest incident involving Kamara over the past weekend, is just the most recent controversy that seemingly has enveloped the Saints franchise in the past several days; since the nation-wide protests which have gripped the nation from coast-to-coast, and in cities and towns both big and small.

Obviously that included the much-publicized comments regarding honoring the American flag and what it represents, that were made by “living legend”, future NFL Hall-of-Famer, and Saints starting QB Drew Brees during an on-line interview with Yahoo! Finance last week.

Brees was asked by writer and Editor-at-large Daniel Roberts what his personal thoughts were on the probability that many NFL players will likely kneel during the national anthem in the upcoming 2020 Season.

Brees made it very clear to Roberts that he continues to be opposed to kneeling during the anthem, simply because he views it as being extremely disrespectful to the symbolism of the American flag.

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Brees told Roberts. “Let me just tell you what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played, and when I look at the flag of the United States. I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corps. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place.”

“Every time I stand with my hand over my heart, looking at that flag, and singing the national anthem, that’s what I think about, and in many cases, it brings me to tears, thinking about all that has been sacrificed,” Brees said. “Not just those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the civil rights movements of the ’60s, and everyone, and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point”.

Photo courtesy of the New Orleans Saints, YouTube

“And is everything right with our country right now? No, it’s not. We still have a long way to go, but I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better and that we are all part of the solution.”

After details of the interview and the accompanying video circulated throughout the internet and on Social Media however, Brees was met with harsh criticism by several of his African-American teammates that included Kamara; all of whom were disappointed by the stance that Brees appeared to be taking at that time.

Brees then issued a series of apologies and eventually “cleared the air” with his teammates the following day during a private team-meeting, in which several people who were in the know, said that he was very emotional and even remorseful; while making it known that he fully supports his teammates’ efforts to eliminate racism.

Brees even went so far as to personally respond to a Tweet made by President Donald J. Trump. who felt that Brees was relenting or giving in to the pressure from his teammates and the well-documented position on eradicating systemic racism by the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

Photo Credit: Drew Brees on

Trump said on Twitter that he’s a “big fan” of Brees, but added that the quarterback “should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag. OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high.

“We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag – NO KNEELING!”

Shortly thereafter, Brees responded to Trump’s message via a post on his Instagram account, in which he explained to Trump in great detail that he’s learned from his mistakes and that the issue should not be focused on the American flag.

“Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been. We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities.

“We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform. We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when?”


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To @realdonaldtrump Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been. We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities. We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform. We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when? We as a white community need to listen and learn from the pain and suffering of our black communities. We must acknowledge the problems, identify the solutions, and then put this into action. The black community cannot do it alone. This will require all of us.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on

You can definitely believe this much, which is that the issue of racism is not going to simply just “go away”, as Trump and those who are blindly loyal to him (and clearly are in total and complete denial) are hoping that it will.

The United States of America as we’ve mentioned previously before, is at a critical juncture in its storied history; and what we are witnessing take place right before our very own eyes, is what can only be described as a “water-shed moment”; or a significant time in which the very way that we live and function as a civilized society, is going to be dramatically CHANGED FOREVER.

Much like our parents and Grandparents can still vividly recall the social upheaval of the events that took place back in the year 1968 (the Viet Nam War, the Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy assassinations, race riots, and the election of Richard Nixon), the year 2020 will be remembered by this current generation in a much similar manner.

Photo Credit Abdul Aziz

The political correctness that will be surrounding both the Saints franchise and the entire 32 teams throughout the NFL for that matter, will be heavily scrutinized from week-to-week and possibly even on a daily basis; over the issue of race — and whether or not the act of kneeling in the eyes of some — is an appropriate one.

That’s regardless of where ever you might actually stand or how you view other related issues such as the defunding of police departments, or any other outcomes that might arise from this period of great crisis that’s descended upon our country.

To that point, most of the politicians on “both sides of the aisle” seem to be in agreement that the defunding of the police on an extensive basis, is an unwise and extremely controversial position to take; and its possible implementation would only serve to throw our nation into total chaos and full-scale lawlessness on an epic scale.

“Reform” of policing and the removal of the militaristic attitude that’s pervasive throughout law enforcement, is clearly an acceptable and much more preferable option. Nevertheless, we as a collective people suddenly and perhaps unexpectedly now, find ourselves on the very precipice of a cultural revolution.

That said however, the disgusting and inappropriate comment made by Jason Perron to verbally insult Alvin Kamara isn’t the first one that’s ever been used to put down an African-American athlete or a person of color; and rather sadly, it probably won’t be the last one either.

Photo courtesy of the New Orleans Saints, YouTube

But those words and the implication that was made by saying them publicly, along with the expectation that because of White privilege that there would be no consequences or repercussions over their blatantly disrespectful and abhorrent usage; indicates WHY America’s on-going problem with racism must finally come to an end.

The unforgettable memories of names such as George Floyd, Breonna TaylorTamir Rice, Trayvon MartinMichael BrownSandra Bland, Philando Castile, and Eric Garner, literally cry out and DEMAND that it has to be so.

It’s time to completely eliminate all of the constant hatred and divisiveness that’s plagued our great nation, for over 400-plus years. There’s no turning back from this critical moment, and it’s our responsibility — as an alleged society of morally-decent people who come from all walks of life — to ensure that it happens.

In the words of Drew Brees himself: If not now, then when?

Barry Hirstius is a semi-retired journalist, who has worked previously as a sports editor and columnist. Barry is a New Orleans native who grew up as a fan of the Saints while attending their games as a young boy during the early 1970’s, uptown at the old Tulane Stadium. He is also the proud Grandfather of two beautiful young girls, Jasmine and Serenity. Follow him on Twitter: @BarryHirstius

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