From star football player to having no team to play in, Colin Kaepernick’s stand against police brutality and racial inequality is making waves unlike never before. Just last year in 2016, he was once a famous football player that took a knee during the playing of the national anthem to symbolize his stance against police brutality and racial inequality. Now, he is the face of that movement. Colin Kaepernick truly is citizen of the year.
Colin Takes the Knee
When Colin Kaepernick decided to take the knee to cement his stance against police brutality and racial inequality, it wasn’t done maliciously nor was it done to belittle the respect the American flag and American servicemen is due. What people need to first understand is that taking a knee is common in sports. Players take the knee when another player is hurt. What taking the knee essentially means is a symbol of surrender, a gesture of humility to the reality of human suffering.
Colin Kaepernick’s stand against police brutality and racial inequality is not new. Videos have gone viral in the recent year of police shooting unarmed black people without even serving any jail time for pulling the trigger. Yet, those that oppose his stance has continuously, without backing down, rebranded his action as an act of disrespect. For them, sports and politics should not mix.
Colin Not the first Athlete to Protest
But, when you look back into American history, it is rich with athletes protesting against something they believe is wrong. During the 1968 Olympics, athletes John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised the black power salute after winning in the said Olympics. They were later on expelled from the games.
Perhaps one of the most famous athletes to show an act of protest was none other than the great Muhammad Ali. Ali refused to be drafted into the then Vietnam War, doing so on the basis of his faith and citing the irony of asking black men to fight for a country that has not treated them like humans. This act caused him to serve jail time and suspension from boxing for several years.
More current players like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant has supported the Black Lives Matter movement by wearing supportive shirts. For Kaepernick, taking the knee and standing for what he believes in has caused him his job. He is currently not signed by any of the football teams in the league.
Colin is GQ’s Citizen of the Year
Colin has released a statement on his social media account that he is honored for the recognition the magazine has given him. While Colin was not interviewed in the magazine, 10 people close to him were, and the readers got to know Colin from different perspectives, including that of an educator, a film maker, activists, rapper, and fellow teammate.
What the magazine and the people close to Kaepernick would like to happen is to set the record straight when it came to Colin’s stand. Kaepernick is a talented athlete who has led the San Francisco 49ers to NFC Championship Games consecutively including one Super Bowl appearance. He deserves to be on the field. He deserves to be a great athlete that is able to make a stand for what he believes is true and just, a belief that resonates throughout the majority of the nation of America.