The Colin Kaepernick protest rolls on with Colin taking a knee with teammate and safety Eric Reid as the National Anthem played before the San Francisco 49ers-San Diego Chargers game Thursday night.
And while that action and his “Cops as Pigs” socks have drawn criticism and boos, including from law enforcement, there are signs that the protest is gathering supporters and momentum, spreading to the rival Seattle Seahawks (cornerback Jeremy Lane sat) and drawing praise perhaps surprisingly from some of the people who have defended the American flag, U.S. military veterans.
“I’m not anti-American. I love America. I love people,” says Colin, who’s donating $1 million to groups affected by police brutality and racial inequality. “That’s why I’m doing this. I want to help make America better.”
According to the San Francisco Examiner, Kaepernick showed leadership on the field as well:
“Kaepernick stood tall in his first drive and mastered an impressive 85-yard drive for a touchdown. In total, he played three series, totaling 103 yards on 11-for-18 passing and 38 yards on the ground. And while he was playing against reserve defenders, his play will make it hard for the 49ers to cut him for ‘football reasons.’”
What we may be seeing here is not only the evolution of an NFL quarterback – the most glamorous and most innocuous position in the game – into a serious activist but the development of a young man discovering his black identity. Colin’s now sporting an Afro along with his beard.
Will he become a kind of Muhammad Ali, a neighbor asked me?
Time will tell. But one columnist thinks so.
“Can Colin Kaepernick be a prominent, provocative social activist and an important 49ers quarterback at the same time?” Tim Kawakami, Mercury News columnist, asked. “I think he can, I've always thought he could, and if he is able to do it over the long haul, we'll look back on Thursday night as the moment it began to happen.”