NFL legend Brett Favre recently talked about the “hero status” of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, comparing the famed national anthem kneeler to Pat Tillman, a former Arizona Cardinal player who died while serving in the U.S. Army following the September 11 terror attacks.
TMZ Sports asked Favre during an interview posted Sunday about his thoughts on Kaepernick reaching the Hall of Fame and the status of a Jackie Robinson or Muhammad Ali for his activism and football talent.
“Boy, I suppose that he’s helped his cause tremendously and is deserving of much praise and respect,” said Favre, “because 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.”
“You know, I can only think of, right off the top of my head, Pat Tillman, as another guy who did something, you know, similar, and we regard him as a hero,” the former Green Bay QB said. “So, I assume that hero status will be stamped with Kaepernick as well.”
Tillman, then a professional football player, signed up for the U.S. Army following the 9/11 terror attacks. While serving as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004, Tillmans was tragically killed by friendly fire.
Kaepernick’s high-profile social justice activism has included repeated criticism of the United States, “including at one point favorably comparing the oppressive communist regime of Fidel Castro to the U.S.,” The Daily Wire previously noted. The Nike-sponsored multi-millionaire has also donned socks with pigs wearing cop hats and “retweeted a quote from revolutionary socialist and chairman of the violence-embracing Black Panther Party Fred Hampton warning against the evils of capitalism.”
The transformation from athlete to racial activist was sparked in 2016 when Kaepernick, who was starting to see little field time, announced his infamous anthem protest over America allegedly “oppressing” minorities and allowing cops to “murder” innocent people of color.
“People of color have been targeted by police,” Kaepernick said at the start of his protest. “So that’s a large part of it, and they’re government officials. They are put in place by the government. So that’s something that this country has to change. There’s things we can do to hold them more accountable. Make those standards higher. You have people that practice law and are lawyers and go to school for eight years, but you can become a cop in six months and don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist.”
Earlier in the TMZ interview, Favre said Kaepernick could still play in the NFL, depending on where his “head” is at.
“I think from a football sense, I can’t imagine him being that far out of shape or that far out of touch with football that he doesn’t deserve a shot,” the 50-year-old said. “And 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.”
“When he was in his prime … I was much as much afraid of his feet than anything, and he could throw well enough that he could beat you in that regard, too,” added Favre. “I think he’s still a very dangerous player, just a matter of where his head is.”
In November, Kaepernick skipped out on an organized tryout by the NFL.
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