The Apache Pow Wow

Colin Kaepernick: Citizen of the Year

Justin Cun, Writer

Colin Kaepernick was an American football quarterback that played at the University of Nevada (UNR). Here, he was given the title of, as announced on WACSports’ website, “Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Offensive Player of the Year” twice, along with multiple other awards. When Kaepernick graduated from UNR in 2011, he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, where he began his professional football career. As the team’s starting quarterback in the 2012 season, Kaepernick led the 49ers to its first Super Bowl appearance since 1994 and also to the NFC Championship Game in the 2013 season. Thereafter, Kaepernick endured several injuries and, as cited by ESPN’s website,”underwent surgery on his injured right thumb…[and] also had a procedure done on his left knee” in just 2016 alone. Kaepernick’s injuries, which began during the 2013 season, have resulted in inconsistencies with his starting quarterback role. These complications eventually steamrolled into the 49ers missing out on the playoffs for three consecutive years. After the missing another playoff for the third time in 2016, Kaepernick chose to leave the 49ers as a free agent. Almost a year later, Kaepernick had undergone multiple controversies, which ultimately led to GQ Magazine naming Kaepernick as “Citizen of the Year.”

It wasn’t until the 2016 season where Kaepernick was wholly resuscitated into the media’s attention. On the LA Times’ website, Kaepernick was lauded as “a polarizing figure in our society,” after “starting the movement of kneeling during the national anthem to protest social injustices.” Shortly after the beginning of the 2016 season, Kaepernick refused to stand while the United States national anthem was being played in efforts to protest against racial injustices. However, his efforts have only spewed controversy and discolorations on his football career that, most importantly, have persisted even after leaving the 49ers. As a free agent and an indisputable candidate for most NFL teams, Kaepernick has been suspiciously rejected from all of them. Kaepernick, well aware of the intentions of these teams, had “filed grievance for collusion against NFL owners,” as cited by ESPN’s website. Although his efforts did not help his current position, he has still received praise by various media sources, being, as mentioned before, a “polarizing figure.”
On the other hand, Kaepernick has also received negative feedback against his actions, which were labeled as questionable and hypocritical. In a separate LA Times article, writer George Skelton criticizes Kaepernick by stating that “good citizens vote,” but “Kaepernick has always rejected voting.” In the same article, it’s said that “refusing to stand for the anthem disrespects America and the Constitution,” which guarantees American citizens the right to “peacefully protest against the nation’s imperfections.” Alternatively, Kaepernick should “protest the imperfections, but not all of America.” So, Skelton’s article then begs the question: is Kaepernick protesting for the right message?

Photo courtesy of GQ.COM

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Colin Kaepernick: Citizen of the Year