On Sunday, although, Brett Favre provided one other comparability for Kaepernick: Pat Tillman.
The legendary former Inexperienced Bay Packers quarterback was talking with TMZ Sports when he was requested whether or not Kaepernick, who helped the 49ers to a Tremendous Bowl look along with two journeys to the NFC championship recreation, deserved Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame consideration, given his off-field contributions.
Favre indicated that was a tricky query, and he didn’t reply it straight. However he proceeded to say of Kaepernick: “I suppose he has helped his trigger tremendously and is deserving of a lot reward and respect. As a result of it’s not straightforward for a man his age, black or white, Hispanic, no matter, to cease one thing that you just’ve at all times dreamed of doing and put it on maintain — possibly endlessly — for one thing that you just consider in.
“I can solely consider, proper off the highest of my head, Pat Tillman’s one other man who did one thing related, and we regard him as a hero,” Favre added. “So I’d assume that hero standing will likely be stamped with Kaepernick as effectively.”
Nonetheless, Favre sought Monday to make clear that he wasn’t equating the sacrifices made by Tillman and Kaepernick.
“Together with Pat Tillman’s identify within the interview on Colin Kaepernick was not a comparability of the 2, however a recognition that they each sidelined their soccer desires in pursuit of a trigger,” he tweeted. “Pat tragically misplaced his life, making the final word sacrifice, and deserves the very best honor.”
Tillman was a security for the Arizona Cardinals who, within the wake of the 9/11 assaults, ended his four-year NFL profession in 2002 to hitch the Military and turn out to be a Ranger.
After Tillman was killed in motion in 2004, his loss of life in Afghanistan was initially described as having occurred by the hands of enemy combatants earlier than an investigation revealed he was slain by pleasant hearth. Since then, he has been incessantly cited for instance of patriotism, though his widow has sometimes taken subject with makes an attempt to make use of Tillman to additional political narratives.
“Pat’s service, together with that of each man and lady’s service, ought to by no means be politicized in a method that divides us,” Marie Tillman mentioned in 2017. “As a soccer participant and soldier, Pat impressed numerous People to unify. It’s my hope that his reminiscence ought to at all times remind those who we should come collectively.”
These feedback have been issued after President Trump continued his criticism of the NFL participant protests through the nationwide anthem — begun by Kaepernick the yr earlier than — by retweeting a supporter’s submit that confirmed Tillman in army garb with an exhortation for everybody to “stand for our anthem.”
That was not the primary time Marie Tillman spoke out in opposition to Trump. Earlier in 2017, she mentioned Pat Tillman would have objected to the president’s government order barring journey from seven majority Muslim international locations, writing, “This isn’t the nation he dreamed of, not what he served for and never what he died for.”
The next yr, Marie Tillman wrote in an essay for The Washington Submit: “Pat was within the army, so many individuals need to connect a model of blind allegiance to him and use him to argue that kneeling through the nationwide anthem is unpatriotic. Pat was additionally in opposition to the Iraq Conflict, so many others need to use him to argue in opposition to American involvement in abroad wars. His essence is bent to suit an agenda. … I can’t say how Pat would have felt about race in the USA at this time or kneeling through the nationwide anthem. However I can say that he would have engaged in considerate and respectful discourse, by no means shying away from the nuance, by no means taking the straightforward method, and searching, at all times, for a dialog as a substitute of a struggle.”
On Sunday, Favre’s likening of Kaepernick to Tillman was met with outrage by some, significantly conservative pundits. Fox Information contributor Dan Bongino tagged Favre on Twitter whereas posting a photograph of socks Kaepernick as soon as wore that appeared to depict policemen as pigs, including in a caption, “If this man is your ‘hero’ then you definately’re the issue.”
“Tillman gave up fame and fortune to serve within the army, and he paid the final word worth,” the Each day Caller’s David Hookstead tweeted. “Kaep referred to as cops slave catchers, wore pig socks and praised Castro. It’s an insulting comparability.”
Kaepernick’s function in elevating consciousness of police brutality, in addition to his efficient banishment from the NFL, returned to the nationwide dialogue as protests sprung up throughout the nation and elsewhere on this planet after the loss of life of George Floyd whereas in police custody.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell not too long ago mentioned he would “assist” and “encourage” a staff to signal Kaepernick. That got here after Goodell responded to prodding from various high-profile gamers in his league by declaring: “We, the Nationwide Soccer League, admit we have been improper for not listening to NFL gamers earlier and encourage all to talk out and peacefully protest. We, the Nationwide Soccer League, consider black lives matter.”
Trump, who has been vital of the Black Lives Matter protests, has continued to take care of that kneeling through the anthem is unacceptable, however he additionally mentioned he wouldn’t thoughts if Kaepernick returned to the NFL.
“I might like to see him get one other shot,” the president mentioned final week. “However clearly, he has to have the ability to play effectively. If he can’t play effectively, I believe it might be very unfair.”
Calling Kaepernick a “dynamic” participant in his prime, Favre famous Sunday that the 32-year-old is “nonetheless younger and hasn’t been hit in a number of years, so there’s no cause to suppose that he’s misplaced that a lot of a step.”
“I believe from a soccer sense, I can’t think about [Kaepernick] being that far out of practice, or that far out of contact with soccer, that he doesn’t deserve a shot,” Favre mentioned.