In the wake of the controversy between the NFL owners blackballing NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick after his decision to kneel last season during the national anthem, Super Bowl champion, Aaron Rodgers voices his support of Kaepernick. Rodgers spoke to ESPN The Magazine and the 2-time NFL MVP did not hold back his comments about the hot-topic.
According to ESPN,
The word “blackballed” is being used with greater frequency, though some people in and around the NFL maintain that the quarterback simply isn’t very good. I ask Rodgers what he thinks, and he demurs at first, then says it would be “ignorant” to suggest Kaepernick’s stance didn’t play a role in his employment status. A few weeks later, he reaffirms his point. “I think he should be on a roster right now,” he says. “I think because of his protests, he’s not.”
Rodgers tells me that while he doesn’t plan on sitting out the anthem, he believes the protests — which he describes as peaceful and respectful — are positive, mentioning that he’s had conversations with a new teammate, tight end Martellus Bennett, about the issues they represent. “I’m gonna stand because that’s the way I feel about the flag — but I’m also 100 percent supportive of my teammates or any fellow players who are choosing not to,” he says. “They have a battle for racial equality. That’s what they’re trying to get a conversation started around.”
I ask him what he thinks about that battle — the actual subject of Kaepernick’s protest. As always, he pauses to collect his thoughts. “I think the best way I can say this is: I don’t understand what it’s like to be in that situation. What it is to be pulled over, or profiled, or any number of issues that have happened, that Colin was referencing — or any of my teammates have talked to me about.” He adds that he believes it’s an area the country needs to “remedy and improve” and one he’s striving to better understand. “But I know it’s a real thing my black teammates have to deal with.”
This is one of, if not, the only superstar athlete that is white who is standing behind kaepernick in the stance for equality. Seems as Rodgers took his time to do his research and spoke to those who are connected to the issues Kaepernick is addressing rather than just giving a statement on the action. Hopefully, more and more superstars, not just the white ones, will take a stand behind a man that is risking his career and life for something important he believes in.
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