Colin Kaepernick became one of the biggest names in football, but not necessarily for his achievements on the field. He was the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2016 but in his final season caused a huge stir. This is how Colin Kaepernick became one of the most controversial NFL players ever.
Refusing to stand
The controversy all began when Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem at the beginning of an NFL game. Originally he chose to sit it out but changed his stance to take a knee. He wanted to make a statement, but didn’t want to insult the military, so remained on one knee to honor them. What was making Kaepernick do this, and was he really disrespecting the flag like critics claimed?
Black Lives Matter
Everyone remembers Kaepernick taking a knee, but not everyone knows his motives for doing it. Some think he was doing it to offend people, but he did it to support a cause he felt needed more attention. Countless incidents of police brutality against members of the black community and continued racial injustice inspired the quarterback to protest.
Kaepernick wanted society to change, so refused to stand for a national anthem that had, for generations, supported this behavior. He inspired many other football players in the NFL to do the same, and soon the story became big news. Kaepernick was criticized by politicians for what he was doing, but the player continued taking a knee.
Eventually, he lost his place in the 49ers team and in 2016 was released. The attention he had drawn was seen as negative, and the 49ers didn’t want to have that many eyes on them. Kaepernick lost his place in the NFL for what he believes in, but he thinks the cause is more important than football.
Controversies keep coming
Even after he had been out of the league for some time, controversy followed Kaepernick. In 2018 a Nike advertising campaign featured the star with the slogan “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Critics thought Nike had gone too far in their support of Kaepernick and some people began burning their apparel in protest against the corporation.
Kaepernick has tried to sign for several NFL teams since 2016, but so far no one has taken the risk. His peers believed his skill level deserves another chance in the league, but Kaepernick believes he being frozen out from playing by the NFL. Today some players still take a knee or stay back in the locker room during the anthem in support of Kaepernick and what he believes in.
Colin Kaepernick did something that took guts, he protested against the American national anthem to try and raise awareness for the issues he wanted fixing. It was brave as he lost his job, and was criticized for disrespecting the American flag, but it was partly successful. Kaepernick taking a knee brought so much awareness to his cause, but only the future will tell if it makes a difference or not.