NFL Legend Reflects on Colin Kaepernick Protest: A Lens on White Perception

Exploring the Intersection of Entertainment and Activism in Sports.

by Nouman Rasool
NFL Legend Reflects on Colin Kaepernick Protest: A Lens on White Perception
© Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

In a recent interview on "The Jason Lee Show," NFL great Terrell Owens reflected on the profound impact of Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel during the national anthem, a gesture that ignited a nationwide debate on racial injustice in America.

Owens, a former star for the San Francisco 49ers, expressed his surprise at the extensive repercussions of Kaepernick's act, which transcended the boundaries of the NFL and sparked intense public discourse. "I never would have thought it would have created the firestorm that it has," Owens remarked.

He highlighted the unforeseen consequences of Kaepernick's protest, including the quarterback's continued absence from the NFL field. Owens elaborated on the broader societal implications, stating, "But it really shed light on really how a lot of White people see us." He pointed to the long-standing efforts of African Americans to voice their experiences of racial injustice, emphasizing that it took Kaepernick's symbolic knee to bring these issues back into the national spotlight.

Jay-Z's NFL Partnership

The conversation with Lee also touched upon rapper and businessman Jay-Z's partnership with the NFL, aimed at enhancing the league's entertainment offerings in the wake of Kaepernick's protest. Owens expressed his disapproval of this collaboration, questioning its depth and continuity in addressing the underlying issues of racial injustice.

"It’s not just for that moment and you address it and it’s swept under the rug after a few weeks or a couple of months," he explained, advocating for sustained efforts to address and rectify these deep-rooted societal problems.

Kaepernick, who last played in the NFL in the 2016 season, has remained in the public eye, consistently training and expressing his readiness to return to the field. Recent reports suggest he conveyed his willingness to join the New York Jets, particularly after quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered an Achilles injury.

This ongoing saga continues to stir conversations about race, politics, and the role of athletes in social activism, keeping Kaepernick's legacy very much alive in the realms of sports and beyond.

Colin Kaepernick