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Colin Kaepernick

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Over the past year the NFL has had many ups and downs, from Marshawn Lynch coming out of retirement to Ezekiel Elliott getting suspended six games for violating the personal conduct policy. Some of these highlights have included Colin Kaepernick. He started the kneeling during the national anthem last year which created huge controversy. The protest are continuing and the tension remains high.

 

Before his career in the NFL, Kaepernick attended the University of Nevada. Here he set several school records and became the first Division 1 quarterback to rush for more than 4 thousand yards and pass more than 10 thousand yards, according to biography.com. With these fantastic achievements he began to catch the eyes of NFL scouts. In 2011 he was selected in the second round of the NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers. During this time with the team, he had set a record of 181 yards rushing, which was the most in a single NFL game by a quarterback, according to biography.com. Later on in the season he led them to Super Bowl XLVII, before falling to the Baltimore Ravens.

 

Originally Kaepernick took a seat on the bench for the National Anthem, but former Seattle Seahawks player and Green Beret, Nate Boyer convinced him to take a knee.

“We sorta came to a middle ground where he would take a knee alongside his teammates,” Boyer said, according to cbssports.com. “Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother’s grave, you know, to show respect. When we’re on a patrol, you know, and we go into a security halt, we take a knee, and we pull security.”

In late August of 2016, Kaepernick had begun to kneel during the National Anthem. This sparked a large dispute in not only the league, but in society. The NFL protest is now the name of this movement, and it is to bring awareness to police brutality and racism in the United States.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said in an interview with NFL Media. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

His actions influenced many athletes and celebrities to speak out and take a stand upon this problem. Golden State Warriors point guard, Stephen Curry, was one of many that voiced their opinion on the topic.

“(Athletes are) all trying to do what we can,” Curry said. “We’re using our platforms, using our opportunities to shed light on that, so that’s kind of where I stand on it. I don’t think us not going to the White House is going to miraculously make everything better, but this is my opportunity to voice that,”  according to cbslocal.com

He might not be signed because he has not improved and last season he was one of the worst quarterbacks in NFL history, according to foxsports.com. Last season he completed 196 out of 331 passes, which is a 59 percent completion rate. He also started eleven games last season and the team’s record ended up being 2-14. While out of the league he has created a Know Your Rights Camp which is to raise awareness on self empowerment, higher education, and how to act properly with law enforcement in various scenarios, according to kaepernick7.com. He also established his own organization to raise money and fight against global oppression. His goal it to raise one million dollars and has reached $900 thousand so far. As the year continues, many will wonder what is in store for Kaepernick’s future.

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Colin Kaepernick