- Brett Favre thinks Colin Kaepernick is “deserving of much praise and respect” and that his “hero status will be stamped” for his role in the fight against police brutality against Black people in America.
- The NFL Hall of Famer likened Kaepernick’s sacrifice to that of Pat Tillman, the late Arizona Cardinals safety who left the NFL to enlist in the US military and subsequently died in Afghanistan.
- “It’s not easy for a guy his age… to stop something that you’ve always dreamed of doing and put it on hold – maybe forever – for something that you believe in,” Favre told TMZ Sports.
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Colin Kaepernick has long been a divisive figure in the NFL and beyond.
But according to one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play in the league, the former San Francisco 49ers QB is a “hero.”
In an interview with TMZ Sports, Hall of Famer Brett Favre said he suspects Kaepernick’s “hero status will be stamped” in light of his role in the Black Lives Matter movement and the continued fight against police brutality in the United States.
Kaepernick famously knelt while the national anthem played in order to draw attention to the disproportionate number of killings of Black Americans at the hands of police officers. The quarterback quickly became the target of President Donald Trump and his allies, who claimed the gesture was disrespectful towards the flag and members of the US military.
Once Kaepernick became a free agent, he found himself blackballed by the league and its owners. He has not taken a snap in the NFL since 2016 despite continually insisting that he is ready and wants to play.
“He’s helped his cause tremendously and is deserving of much praise and respect,” Favre said of Kaepernick. “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 then likened Kaepernick’s sacrifice to that of Pat Tillman, the former Arizona Cardinals safety who gave up his NFL career to fight in the US military after the September 11 attacks. Less than two years after enlisting, Tillman died while fighting in Afghanistan. He was 27 years old.
“I can only think of, off the top of my head, Pat Tillman is another guy who did something similar,” Favre said. “And we regard him as a hero, so I’d assume that hero status will be stamped with Kaepernick as well.”
It’s far from the first instance of Kaepernick and Tillman finding themselves in the same conversation. In 2018, Nike released a commercial narrated by Kaepernick that urged viewers to “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Famously, many of the quarterback’s naysayers pointed to Tillman as what they believed to be a more respectable example of a hero and a martyr.
When it comes to Kaepernick’s on-field abilities, Favre was quick to state that he believes the dual-threat quarterback could once again find a spot in the NFL.
“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,” Favre said. “I thought he was a dynamic player when he was playing in his prime. And he’s still young and hasn’t been hit in several years, so there’s no reason to think he’s lost that much of his step.”
“When he was in his prime, if I were a defensive coordinator, I was as much afraid of his feet than anything,” Favre added. “And he could throw well enough that he could beat you in that regard, too. I think he’s still a very dangerous player – it’s just a matter of where his head is.”
The death of George Floyd has shed new light on Kaepernick’s silent protest for many across the United States. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he would “encourage” teams to sign Kaepernick. and renewed calls for the quarterback’s return to the league have ensued.
Even President Trump – who has a long history railing against Kaepernick and those who knelt beside him – said recently that he would “absolutely” support the former quarterback’s return to the league. Though the president’s comments were less as an admission of fault than a way to distance himself from his increasingly obsolete stance, his reversal signals a massive shift in public opinion as of late.
And though Kaepernick still has not signed with any of the NFL’s 32 franchises, it appears some teams may have renewed interest in employing him as a back-up in the future.
Check out TMZ Sports’ interview with Favre below:
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- Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll says he regrets not signing Colin Kaepernick in 2017
- The San Francisco 49ers participated in #BlackoutTuesday and fans are calling it hypocrisy after the treatment of Colin Kaepernick
- 14 professional athletes who have already said they will kneel during the national anthem