It has been fives season since Colin Kapernick elected to stand against police brutality and fight for social change. The former 49ers quarterback took a knee during the national anthem after discussing it with a US military member.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Network’s Steve Wyche.
“To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
During the process, Colin’s stature rose, symbolized as a warrior for justice; some members of the football athletic brotherhood believe Kaepernick dropped the ball.
Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is one of those players that thinks Kaepernick dropped the ball and voiced it on the I AM ATHLETE podcast recently.
“I respect Colin Kaepernick,” Bryant said as a guest on the “I Am Athlete” podcast. “But there’s one thing that I don’t respect, and I said when I get the opportunity and to get on the stage to say it, I would say it, and I love him to death. So it ain’t no hate or nothing like that.
“But brother, you had the biggest opportunity in the world to create jobs, build jobs, get jobs for people. The people that you was talking about, people that you so-called standing up for.”
Bryant added, “The people who stood beside you, the people who lost their jobs because of you, where you at? I ain’t heard from you. I reached out to you where you at. He brought the awareness and that’s why I respect him.”
Well, Bryant’s comment caught a former ESPN reporter’s attention, and the host of Jemele Hill is Unbothered podcast, Jemele Hill.
With all due respect @DezBryant, this is uninformed. Colin Kaepernick has created a publishing company, a SPAC that’s raising $300M for social justice initiatives, a production company, etc. On top of founding the Know Your Rights Camp. I don’t get the point of dragging his name.
Bryant would respond via social media, “I’m a product of media hate so I get it.. @jemelehill you could have called me & got a better understanding of what I was saying ..but you have your own motive… I’ve reached out to kap for yrs and no response…raising 300 mil would be easy if we had unity amongst athletes.”
Well, on Sunday afternoon, Hill was on Instagram Live with Cari Champion and explained the situation and tried to correct Dez on the information that he said.
“The part that I kind of pushed back on was Dez was saying that we have not heard from him and we don’t know and there should be player unity. The problem was there was none when Colin did that. There was a couple of y’all out there and said all right I’m with you. Kenny Stills did, Eric Reid did, and a lot of the players let it ride, and let him twist in the wind. So, to come back and to say there should be more player unity. I promise you I am not trying to throw shade and I’m not trying to be a**h***, but I very much remember when Dez was asked about this issue when he was playing and he said I had a family to feed,” said Hill.
“When he was asked about Colin Kaepernick, so you made your position clear then. I’m not saying that you are not allowed to evolve that position, but when it was on the line that was your position. When it was on the line for Colin you know what his position was.”
Hill added that she loves the I AM ATHLETE podcast and that athletes can have their own opinions and provided a different prospect that we have not heard before. However, once you go public with that opinion, people can react and respond to it.
As for Kaepernick, It has been almost two years since Colin Kapernick held his workout for NFL teams in the State of Georgia. Then, after making a last-minute venue change and the league labeled him a no-show. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback changed the venue because he wanted the media to have access to the workout instead of the private workout that the NFL planned at the Atlanta Falcons training center in Flowery Branch.
Kaepernick and his representatives did not want the NFL to control the narrative and want to have some transparency, which they felt wouldn’t happen with a private workout.
“Was it really opportunities because we know what it was, we have covered the NFL long enough to know what a real opportunity looks like and when the Seahawks brought him in. Actually, I can’t say they brought him in, they called him, right? I don’t know if he actually got to Seattle or not, but you know it is real when the team bring you into the facility, right? That’s a real opportunity,” said Hill.
Last year, I spoke with former Seahawks coach trainee turned radio host, Nick Ferguson.
He revealed why the Seahawks were reluctant to sign him Kaepernick.
“When you look at the Seattle area there is a large amount of former and current military that live in that area, and they have gone on record in saying they don’t want Colin [Kaepernick] there. And if he were to come they would not support the team. So, that is the reason why Colin wouldn’t be with the Seattle Seahawks. Not because you have Geno Smith. Anyone that knows football would tell you, if you are comparing Colin [Kaepernick] to Geno [Smith], which quarterback has been more successful? It’s Colin, he’s been to a Super Bowl, right? Geno hasn’t been there and I get tired of these false narratives about what these people say about Colin,” said Ferguson.
Last month Kaepernick and Netflix released the trailer for his upcoming project, Colin, In Black & White | “The Path is Power.”