San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, has made plenty of headlines this week with his stand for social justice. Kaepernick’s move on not standing for the National Anthem during last week’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers sparked major controversy. The reason for the move was to protest against the social injustice for people of color. Many have criticized his move saying he is “Un-American” while others applaud his stance on an important subject. As the 49ers played in their final preseason game against the San Diego Chargers, Kaepernick’s actions are not only effecting other NFL players but other Americans as well.
Safety and teammate Eric Reid also felt the impact of Kaepernick as he decided to help his cause. Reid joined Kaepernick in taking a knee during the National Anthem and as the sing concluded embraced for a hug. Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane was seen not standing from the national anthem in their game against the Oakland Raiders. Philadelphia Eagles rookie Myke Tarvarres planned to join Kaepernicks movement, but changed his mind just hours later.
Seeing this unfold, I feel that this is an important movement that needs to be addressed. As a former athlete myself, we are subject to our athletic abilities and told not to speak up about certain subjects. There are many athletes that play a huge role in society so seeing them speak up about racial injustices is very important. Though our athletic abilities allow some to make millions of dollars, taking a stand for something greater than sports is special. I look at pioneers like Jim Brown, Muhammed Ali, and Tommie Smith who were elite athletes that took a stand on what was right. To make a change in this country, it is going to take radical moves from radical individuals. Kaepernick is definitely a radical individual who can make a positive change.
With the NFL season starting next week, it will be interesting to see who else follows in Kaepernicks lead. With this being an election year, politics is at an all- time high. Many celebrity figures will be questioned about every comment they make of touchy subjects. Colin Kaepernick actions this past week are just a small stepping stone into what really matters in America. This is a conversation that needs to go beyond talking now and head towards action. Only then we can move forward as a nation.