Colin Kaepernick deserves to play
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Quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick, made headlines at the start of the 2016 NFL preseason when he decided to take a knee during the National Anthem. In an interview, Kaepernick explained why he kneeled, saying “I am not going to stand to show pride for a country that oppresses colored people”. He said he was doing this because there is still racial discrimination and police brutality against black people. Kaepernick has explained that he knows what he is doing and that it may not sit well with people.
His protest was criticized by many people including Mike Ditka, a former football player, who said “I think it’s a problem… anybody who disrespects this country and the flag”. Kaepernick’s activism off the field has effected his football career. No teams in the NFL have offered him a contract or money to play this season.
Some players still have their jobs, despite arrests and criminal charges. Houston linebacker, Brian Cushing, was recently suspended for 10 games for using perfomance-enhancing substances. These are the types of players who should have no offers.
Kaepernick’s lack of offers is disappointing. He is exercising his first amendment right to protest, and for a good cause. Even if they don’t agree with his politics, he has contributed a great amount to society. He has made $900,000 in donations and started a campaign, Know Your Rights Camp, which encourages higher education and empowerment for youth. He is influencing youth to better themselves and be proud. The NFL Players Association is awarding him with the Week 1 NFLPA Community MVP award for his community work and activism.
Although what Colin Kaepernick did was controversial, he is a good player and good person. The fact that NFL teams won’t hire him just emphasizes how necessary his protest and charity work is.