So earlier in the week, I came across an article titled “Joe Theismann slams 49ers for giving Colin Kaepernick award” and I couldn’t help stopping to read. After reading the short AP New article, I went and found video of Theismann’s phone interview with Sports Illustrated.

“Everybody has the right to express their opinion, but not in the workplace,” Theismann is quoted. Um, why the eff not?! Kaepernick’s employer, the San Francisco 49ers who is a National Football League subsidiary, has let him express himself in the manner (kneeling during the National Anthem) all season long without any punishment. That’s right. No fine, no loss of playing time, certainly not loss of interviews. The reason?…Because Kaepernick’s employer says it’s okay. They said it’s okay by not taking any punitive action against Kaepernick–and that’s the employer’s right.

And who are you to tell the NFL or any other employer what to do, especially how to deal with player conduct regarding social injustices demonstrations? Yes, you were a fantastic quarterback for many years in the NFL but that doesn’t give you leverage to dictate how they run their business. If you don’t like how the NFL has handled Kaepernick’s protect then stop supporting the NFL. Stop working for the NFL Network and assisting in its success. Stop spending money or lending your time to the NFL and its partnerships. Oh wait…You benefit from them. You get a paycheck from them.

I’m tired of people whining about other people “supposedly whining” about life when it is assumed that they have it “so good.” Just because Kaepernick is talented and has used his talent to make himself a lot of money doesn’t mean that he can’t be socially conscious and demonstrative at work, as long as he doesn’t violate any of his employers’ policies. And just because you don’t like that an organization doesn’t have a policy doesn’t mean that they actually should implement one.

And how about you dive a little deeper, Mr. Thiesmann? The 49ers voted to award Kaepernick with the award as a team. I have asked any of Kaepernick’s teammates but I bet they voted for him to win that award because he thought and acted selflessly to bring attention to a national issue that needs to be addressed. It actually take a decent amount of courage to do something like that alone–and even more courage to continue to do so when you are getting judged and harassed and threatened. I love the sport of football but life is bigger than the game and not just about the amount wins you lead your team to on the field; true leadership and inspiration is shown by an individual when the take a stance for a better quality of life for humankind. Check out what Torrey Smith, one of Kaepernick’s teammates, had to say in response to Theismann–Smith’s rant comes from a more personal place but we get a glimpse of the Mr. Thiesmann behind the face-mask. Yes, Kaepernick went 1-11 as the 49ers starter this season but he was arguably one of the most talked about sports figures in 2016 because he stood up–and took a knee–to call on this nation to do better by and for each other.

I challenge you to aid in those efforts, sir.

-RCS3

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