Brett Favre puts Colin Kaepernick on a high pedestal.
The Hall of Fame quarterback said Kaepernick will receive “hero status” because he was willing to sacrifice his NFL career to protest racial inequality and social injustice. Favre compared him to the late Pat Tillman – the former Arizona Cardinals safety who left his football career to join the Army after Sept. 11.
“I can only think of right off the top of my head, Pat Tillman is another guy that did something similar,” Favre told TMZ Sports. “And, we regard him as a hero. So, I’d assume that hero status will be stamped with Kaepernick as well.”
Tillman, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2004 by friendly fire, played four seasons in the league after being a seventh-round pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. He then decided to give up his NFL career to fight for the United States.
In 2016, Kaepernick, who was in his sixth season with the San Francisco 49ers, began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and social injustice. After the season, he was released, and he has yet to sign another NFL contract. He filed a grievance in 2017 that the NFL and its owners were blackballing him to keep him out of the league.
“It’s not easy for a guy his age — black or white, Hispanic, whatever — to stop something that you’ve always dreamed of doing, and put it on hold, maybe forever, for something that you believe in,” Favre said.
In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Kaepernick has surged back into the NFL spotlight once again. Last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he encourages teams to sign Kaepernick. If given the opportunity, Favre believes Kaepernick could still play at a high level.
“I thought he was a dynamic player when he was playing in his prime,” Favre said. “He’s still young and hasn’t been hit in several years, so there’s no reason to think that he’s lost that much of a step.”