NFL free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick will likely not be remembered for leading the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance in 2012-13. Instead, he legacy will live on because of his civil disobedience and social justice activism, kneeling during the national anthem to raise awareness for police brutality in the Black community. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr on Tuesday called Kaepernick a hero.
The Warriors were among one of the most vocal NBA teams to defend Colin Kaepernick to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Warriors coach Steve Kerr: "My sense a few years ago is that Kaepernick would eventually be viewed as a hero."
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) June 9, 2020
Kaepernick is back in the headlines due to his prescient and peaceful protests during the 2016 NFL season, which saw the then-49ers signal-caller take a knee during games and the ongoing protests around the United States to combat police brutality.
Last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized for the way the league handled treating players, like Kaepernick, during that time, albeit without naming the free agent, who hasn't played professionally since that season.
The former Bay Area quarterback, however, has made a lasting impact on many individuals across the country, including the Warriors head coach. Kerr, like his former coach for the San Antonio Spurs, Gregg Popovich, has been a vocal detractor of both U.S. President Donald Trump and police brutality, with the former seemingly inciting more violence perpetrated by law enforcement when the commander-in-chief called for shooting “looters” in a tweet.
Kerr and the Warriors declined visiting the president after winning back-to-back NBA titles in 2017-18, after which President Trump revoked the invitation.
In short order, Kaepernick has once again become a civil rights icon for those marching in the past two weeks after the death of George Floyd. Count Kerr among those who see Kaepernick as a trailblazer for equality.