Former Chiefs star Larry Johnson thinks Colin Kaepernick sold out with NFL settlement
Colin Kaepernick settled his grievance with the NFL on Friday, putting an end to a pending suit that league owners collectively decided against signing him due to his protest of social injustice during the national anthem played before games. Some reports indicated that the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback received between $60 and $80 million from the NFL for electing to no longer pursue legal action.
Considering Kaepernick, and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, had the backing of the NFL Players’ Association throughout the legal process, one would assume most current and former players would support his decision, no matter what it was, with regard to the case. Count former Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson among the few taking offering a competing perspective to Kaepernick’s settlement.
“I think it was a waste of time. He basically corrupted and diluted his message,” Johnson told TMZ on Friday. “First of all, if you’re going to go into an activism role…if your backdrop is gonna be the African-American civil rights presence they brought from the ’60s, and you’re gonna use that for your own causes, you don’t sell out.
“Now I don’t know what activist – Martin Luther King or Malcolm X – I don’t know what civil rights leader that you even saw or follow that made you even think that selling out to your oppressor or signing a deal with your oppressor was the way to go,” he continued.
“To me, it was a waste of time, and they took a lot of young kids down the wrong hole by selling out your message.”
Johnson is certainly entitled to his opinion. But it’s not like Kaepernick will stop fighting for the persecuted just because he’s no longer at the center of an active lawsuit, either.