Let us not focus on the current controversy, let us look at the many things this man had already supported and achieved prior to Donald Trump calling for his expulsion from the NFL.
Colin Kaepernick; 30 years old, a man of faith and a vegan. Despite being a professional American football player, he actually started out at high school playing predominantly baseball, with some basketball and football. He almost didn’t make it to the college scholarship which he worked hard for, it was luck. Spotted at a high school basketball game, by an assistant coach from the University of Nevada.
In 2016 Kaepernick pledged to donate $1 million to “organisations working in oppressed communities”, the final $100,000 was split into $10,000 gifts and other celebrities matched those gifts - this raised almost $400,000 of additional contributions. In 2017 he was named GQ magazine’s ‘Citizen of the Year’ in response to his hard work and philanthropy and received the Puffin/Nation Institute’s Prize for Creative Citizenship, the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award (presented by Beyonce) and the ACLU’s Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award. April 2018 saw him receive the ‘2018 Ambassador of Conscience Award’ from Amnesty International, a great honour to receive alongside others such as Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai and Alicia Keys.
Most recently, on the 11th October, he was awarded the W.E.B Du Bois medal from Harvard University, which is given to those who have made a significant contribution to African and African-American history and culture.
He works against the oppression of all, throughout the world, via education and social activism. He also founded the ‘Know Your Rights Camp’, which teaches youngsters how to interact properly with law enforcement, highlights the importance of education and self empowerment in the USA.
Two years ago this man sat down during the playing of his national anthem, prior to a pre-season NFL game. Afterwards he told the press; “I’m not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour.” Following on from this, he knelt twice in a similar gesture as a dual sign of respect for the military that fought to keep his country free and for Black Lives Matter. To this day, despite being picked up for Nike’s 30th Anniversary campaign as a direct result of this (their sales increased 31% following his ad), he is still being shunned by the NFL.
The man clearly cares about the lives of others, and he used an opportunity that was open to him that demonstrated this. We don’t believe he should be penalised for it, like so many others. Would we do the same for something that mattered to us? Yes. Would we be scared of the consequences? Possibly. Would we do it anyway? Definitely.
Things to do in Sport to Celebrate Black History Month:
Watch the Reggae Girlz play in their first ever UK played match as they go up against Nottingham Forest Ladies. There will be lots of Caribbean Food on offer and Music at half time from the legend Freddie McGregor.
Tickets for the match are free for Under 16s and £5 for adults. Book now by clicking here.
Written by Lucy @ lifeadmin