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"Colin Kaepernick is the real patriot" - Fans rally behind former NFL QB's heroic crusade

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Rit Nanda
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As another NFL regular season ended with Colin Kaepernick not seeing a single snap, despite being in the prime of his sporting life, NFL fans took to Twitter to pay tribute to the man who risked it all for his principles. To briefly recap, the two-time WAC Offensive Player of the Year (2008, 2010) initially sat down and, then, took a knee during the National Anthem to bring attention to police brutality against black people.

The first time Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the national anthem, he later that evening stood at attention for an in-game singing of God Bless America. Afterward, I asked him why.“I love America. ... That’s why I’m doing this."instagram.com/p/CA3DDkdFZer/

Then, President Donald Trump castigated the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and asked that he be banished from the league, which effectively is what happened. Once George Floyd's brutal murder crystallized the issue of racial brutality in policing, the NFL changed its tone in messaging, but the 2018 Harvard University W.E.B. DuBois Medal winnder still never played another down.

1) Just over 18 months ago, in the midst of social unrest after the murder of George Floyd, the NFL announced it was going to commit $250 million over the course of 10 years to combat systemic racism. https://t.co/2PMdW1Sdsp

Colin Kaepernick exposed a racial divide that many wanted to remain hidden

Colin Kaepernick NFL Workout
Colin Kaepernick NFL Workout

The 34-year-old's fans continue to believe he has been unjustly targeted, especially in light of the events of January 6, 2021, where violent protestors found support from many of the same quarters that denounced him.

Colin Kaepernick is the real patriot. https://t.co/5VNEb9DrpX

Others pointed out that one of the central tenets of America, and indeed any democracy, is that one should be able to freely challenge established norms because speech is protected. They asserted that, not only was the former Pro Bowl quarterback's taking a knee patriotic, it was deeply courageous since he knew the level of hate he would face for taking such a step. It is unclear if being blacklisted by the NFL ever crossed his mind, though.

Colin Kaepernick was not only right for standing up against the racial injustices in the United States of America; he showed the world a great courage! A courage that every true American Patriot should have in order to truly defend our great democracy.

Others pointed out how much more poignant the 2020 Ripple of Hope award recipient's protests have become due to the harrowing cases of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. It confirms why the former University of Nevada standout was protesting and why some people felt that racial bias, also, played a role in why they did not like his protests. They did not disagree with the message, but allegedly, they disagreed with the messenger, who happened to be Black.

Everyone knew @Kaepernick7 was right. They weren't even really mad about HOW he chose to express himself. They were mad because he was an uppity Negro who chose to express himself at all. Didn't know his place.That's why he's a hero. twitter.com/TrentCapelli/s…

Others expanded along the same theme, highlighting that the premise of his taking a knee still exists because of the continued cases that keep coming to light. They pointed out that, not only is he a patriot, but that the action that he took was patriotic and remains so, even to this day. It is a powerful symbol where the moment is, unfortunately, yet to pass.

@KeithMiller999 Taking a knee was not only patriotic, it was and continues to be heroic.Colin KaepernickPatriot and American Hero. https://t.co/1AtgN1bw8S

Needless to say, there are people who disagree with this sentiment and find the civil rights activist to be someone who disrespected the flag and the anthem. But as another regular season in the NFL ends without the record holder for the most rushing yards by a quarterback in postseason history in sight, and having seen many a quarterback fail in the league, they, too, would be hard-pressed to argue that his absence is based on sporting merit.


Edited by Windy Goodloe
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