On Monday, ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer shared his hot take on the Colin Kaepernick conversation, indicating the San Francisco 49ers signal-caller should keep his mouth shut because he’s a back up.
Following Monday night’s win over the Los Angeles Rams, Kaepernick responded to Dilfer’s tone deaf claim that he should learn his role — the type of plantation mentality that feeds into the core reason Kaepernick and many other NFL players around the league are protesting in the first place.
First, let’s revisit Dilfer’s remarks. Dilfer said:
“No matter how passionate you are, no matter how much of a burden you have for a social issue, you don’t let it get in the way of the team. And the big thing that hit me through all of this was this is a backup quarterback whose job is to be quiet and sit in the shadows and get the starter ready to play Week 1. Yet, he chose a time when he became the center of attention. And it has disrupted that organization. It has caused friction and torn the fabric of the team.
“Although I respect what he’s doing and I respect the passion and burden he has for this issue, a massive issue, I do not respect the fact that he put himself and his stance above the team because he’s not the only one who’s passionate about big social issues.”
Anyone with two working eyes and a brain can see that Kaepernick’s protest has actually brought the 49ers together. Those same people with two functioning eyes see Kaepernick’s teammates come over to shake his hand, hug him and offer support every game after the national anthem is played.
Kaepernick is a leader.
But we don’t have to defend Kaepernick against ignorant remarks, because the 49ers quarterback responded to Dilfer after his “distracted” team that apparently had its fabric torn apart took care of business by shellacking the Rams.
“I think that’s one of the most ridiculous comments I’ve heard,” Kaepernick said, via Por Football Talk. “The fact that you say, ‘You’re a backup quarterback, stay in your place,’ that’s an issue. To me, you’re telling me that my position as a backup quarterback and being quiet is more important than peoples’ lives. I would ask him to really have a conversation with the families of people that have been murdered and see if he still feels that way. Because I’d bet you he doesn’t. Just because he hasn’t experienced that type of oppression.”
Here is Kaepernick’s full response:
And if Colin is so divisive, Trent, how do you explain this?
Kudos to Kaepernick for starting the conversation and to everyone else who is keeping that conversation going. It is healthy to discuss the real issues in this country.
It is much healthier than telling people to shut up because it makes you feel uncomfortable.