NFL legend Brett Favre said Colin Kaepernick will be remembered as a "hero" similar to former NFL player and veteran Pat Tillman, who died in 2004 while serving in Afghanistan. Kaepernick famously led kneeling protests during the national anthem in 2016 to call out police violence and racial injustice.
In an interview with TMZ Sports, Favre was asked if Kaepernick belongs in the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame for his contributions to society. The former Green Bay Packers star praised the 32-year-old free agent quarterback's willingness to jeopardize his football career for a greater good.
"It's not easy for a guy his age -- black or white, Hispanic, whatever -- to stop something that you've always dreamed of doing, and put it on hold, maybe forever, for something that you believe in," Favre said.
"I can only think of -- right off the top of my head -- Pat Tillman's another guy who did something similar, and we regard him as a hero," he added said. "So I'd assume that hero status will be stamped with Kaepernick as well."
Tillman was a former Arizona Cardinals safety who stepped away from the sport to serve in the U.S. Army in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. He died in 2004 from friendly fire.
Favre said Kaepernick also "deserves a shot" to play in the NFL and called him a "dynamic player."
"There's no reason to think he's lost that much of a step," he said. "I think he's still a very dangerous player."
Kaepernick did not walk away from his career voluntarily. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback hasn't played for a football team since 2016 when no team signed him during the offseason. Kaepernick filed a grievance against the league in 2017, alleging that he was not signed due to his protest.
However, in wake of the George Floyd's death, some demonstrators have embraced Kaepernick's kneeling protests. NFL players have challenged the league to look in the mirror in terms of how it handled his protests and his calls for change. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has now said he encourages teams to sign Kaepernick and would welcome him back to the league.
First published on June 22, 2020 / 10:56 AM
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