Opinion: Kaepernick is Not a Victim

Ryan McCrary, Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

In the last couple of years, police brutality has become a huge issue in America. Police brutality is when police officers abuse their power and act aggressively, unwarranted, against citizens.

Last year, NFL players began kneeling during the national anthem before games to protest against this brutality. The first athlete to kneel in protest was Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick brought a lot of attention to the problem, mainly in regards to police brutality against African Americans. Many people supported his protest, but many were against the act of kneeling during the national anthem. I will be stating my own opinion and making a case against Kaepernick and his Nike ad.

I believe everyone in the United States should have the right to protest and have free speech. I have no issue with Colin Kaepernick protesting, and I applaud him for protesting nonviolently and fighting for something I believe in. I do believe, however, that kneeling during the anthem is disrespectful towards U.S. soldiers and the great country that allows Kaepernick to play football for a living. I know that he doesn’t mean to disrespect the flag, but that’s how I perceive the protest. I love the protest where players lock arms with each other during the anthem because it shows unity and doesn’t disrespect anything or anyone. I recommend Kaepernick turn to this form of protest instead of kneeling.

Colin Kaepernick did have sixteen touchdowns and only four interceptions that season, but he truly wasn’t that good and struggled at times. During the offseason, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers and declined a contract from the Broncos.

On September 4, Nike made Kaepernick the face of a brand-new campaign. The campaign focused on how you can dream to do anything and to not let others tell you your dreams are unreachable. Kaepernick appears on the cover of the ad for the campaign with “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything”  written in text. This is where I have a problem with the Colin Kaepernick situation.

The ad says “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” which implies Kaepernick was forced to give up everything because of his protests. That is untrue. Kaepernick didn’t die, he only lost his spot in the NFL and can live comfortably for the rest of his life even if he never plays another down in the NFL. The word “sacrifice” makes it sound like Kaepernick was forced out of the NFL against his will. Once again, this is untrue. He also had contract negotiations with a third team, but his girlfriend made comments on Twitter that caused the team to rescind the offer.

The ad displays Colin Kaepernick as a victim and a hero, which he is neither. It would be a completely different story if Kaepernick hadn’t received contract offers from any team. The ad would be better and more fitting if the text said “Believe in something. Even if it means declining two NFL contracts.” I think the ad would be phenomenal if the face of it was Pat Tillman, a former NFL player who quit playing in the NFL and died during service in Afghanistan.

To restate, I have no problem with Kaepernick protesting, but I do have an issue with him acting as a victim when he put himself into the situation he’s in.