Megan Rapinoe praises Colin Kaepernick in powerful ESPYS message
To open the ESPYS, soccer star Megan Rapinoe heaped praise on NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick for his efforts in the battle against racism and social injustice.
Rapinoe pointed out how Kaepernick was aware of the backlash that he would get for protesting. However, he did it anyway knowing in his heart that fighting for Black people is way bigger than American football or any sport for that matter.
“Colin Kaepernick never shied away,” Megan Rapinoe said of the former NFL QB, per Ali Thanawalla of NBC Sports. “He knew that discomfort was essential to liberation, and that fighting the oppression against Black people is bigger than sports. So will it be uncomfortable? Yes. In speaking up, will we make mistakes? Yes. That cannot stop us from trying, and not just for a few days or for a few [Instagram] posts.”
Rapinoe’s missive came by way of video, which featured several top athletes in their respective sport, each with a message to share.
— ESPN (@espn) June 22, 2020
Rapinoe was referring to Kaepernick’s protests in 2016. In his first protest, Kap opted to sit as the American national anthem played. In the succeeding weeks, he started to kneel. The league took notice, and he became the most polarizing figure in the NFL as some supported his stand against oppression while some called him a traitor.
The following season, Kaepernick became a free agent. Analysts quickly read this as Kaepernick’s banishment from the league. After all, the NFL has infamously distanced itself from race-related issues.
But after the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis cops, Kaepernick has been put into the spotlight again. Some say that he may even make a return. The NFL, for its part, has seemingly backpedalled from its earlier stance and now supports the players’ protests and the right to free expression.