So, I’ll admit. I’m a little cynical regarding Kaepernick’s motives behind his protest. He’s wanted out of San Francisco since the front office ran Harbaugh out of town. Seriously, he was only one step removed from flashing some leg on the side of the street to various franchises in the lead up to the draft. So yeah, call me judgmental, but my instinctive reaction to the entire story was that it sounded like a broken down QB of increasingly fading relevance trying to create any narrative aside from his arm being shot.
Now, If I’m wrong, shame on me and good on Kaepernick. I don’t entirely agree with the substance of his argument, but I am fully behind him using his platform to address that argument and draw attention to issues he strongly believes need to be addressed. I do wish more athletes would similarly become socially motivated, but as the author has noted, the all consuming pressure to maintain the physical level required to play the game at its highest level leaves little time for social activism.
One last point I wanted to address is admittedly anecdotal in nature. Every one of my friends and associates that has loudly condemned Kaepernick for his actions claiming that the NFL was not the appropriate platform for politically motivated statements are ironically the same friends loudly banging their chests over the Dean of the University of Chicago’s resent letter condemning safe spaces and trigger warning. Well guess what guys, the NFL is not your safe space. You will sometimes have to deal with opinions and ideas that challenge or offend your world view. Try not to let it trigger you.