It’s been almost four years since Colin Kaepernick, one of the most charismatic soccer stars in the U.S., began kneeling for the National Anthem on the field, instead of standing with his hand over his heart. This was the beginning of what would soon be known as the “take a knee” protest — a symbolic gesture against police brutality in the country that promised to protect all of its residents.
Kaepernick, a black man, received severe backlash for taking a knee over and over again — and not being a patriot was, perhaps, the mildest insult. Yet still, he inspired a volume of other athletes and cheerleaders to kneel down during the anthem all over the country.
His protest drawn attention shortly after Nike had made him the new face of their “Just Do It” campaign — and the uproar from the conservative customers was almost deafening. President Donald Trump officially stated that he believed that the NFL should “get that son of a b–ch off the field.”
This is what eventually happened to Colin Kaepernick — and Joe Lockhart, the former NFL vice president of communications, has just revealed why.
In his CNN column, Lockhart reveals that Kaepernick, despite possessing indisputable talent and perspectives, was seen as controversial by the NFL teams — which means he was bad for business. He wasn’t playing in 2017 anymore, and the teams became too afraid to sign him, with some projecting up to 20% in losses if they did so.
Today Kaepernick remains a free agent with no team. But after the tragic death of an African-American George Floyd at the hands of a white cop rippled through America, the movement he started is remembered again.