Who is Colin Kaepernick? Colin Rand Kaepernick is an American civil rights activist and football quarterback who is a free agent. He played six seasons for the San Francisco 49ers in the National Football League.
The whole debate about free-agent NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the protests of the national anthem he initiated in 2016 is back in the foreground.
On May 25, an unarmed black man named George Floyd was killed by a minneapolis police officer at the time. The video of that incident shocked the nation and led to an uprising on the streets. Protests at the level we haven’t seen since the anti-Vietnam War and civil rights movements. It was really something to behold. The changing landscape of a nation amid both a global pandemic and a presidential election in which the incumbent – a well-known opponent of these protests – risks becoming a one-time president.
The backdrop included the millions of rural protesters who took a knee in front of law enforcement officers as a way to pay tribute to the Kaepernick-led movement and pay their respects to Mr. Floyd.
This has not been lost in the sports world. In general, star athletes have expressed support for the protests against police brutality and for racial equality. Heck, NASCAR has taken the unprecedented step up, indicating that it supports the Black Lives Matter movement while banning the Confederate Flag from events.
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In the NFL, Commissioner Roger Goodell shocked the crowd in June when he admitted that the league mishandled the Kaepernick-led 2016 protests. This came after several star players, including reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, took on the league’s action. It now includes the NFL capturing $250 million to help combat “systemic racism,” as the league calls it.
What is the main theme here? It seems that everything has changed since the NFL blackballed Kaepernick out of the championship after the 2016 season, which led to him receiving millions in cold cash after filing a lawsuit claiming the former Super Bowl quarterback had been kept out of the league.
It also leads me to my primary point. With reports suggesting a renewed interest in Kaepernick’s services, it’s time his former San Francisco 49ers team considers signing the free agent icon and civil rights.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke to the media for more than 30 minutes on June 4. The conversation ran away from the upcoming 2020 NFL season. Instead, the focus was on issues that are much more important in today’s society. The murder of George Floyd. The protests in every major American city. The renewed interest in the Kaepernick-led protests that began years ago, but now more prevalent than ever before.
Shanahan notes that the time for inaction is over. It is time for players to make their voices heard and take part in the non-violent protests. It also comes at a time when 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman has been outspoken on the issue of the day. First, the reluctance of certain owners around the NFL to speak out against police brutality and racial inequality. That includes Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
But in San Francisco, the situation is very different than in Texas. The team’s front office, led by CEO Jed York, is more progressive than most team leaders around the NFL world. Without necessarily saying a word, Mr. York has made his position more than clear.
Now that he’s more than three years away from Kaepernick playing his last snap for the 49ers, it’s time for them to kick the tires by re-signing him. There are several reasons for this.
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