NFL legend Jim Brown says that currently unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick needs to concentrate on football or political activism. If he chooses the former and receives a big salary as a professional athlete, he must follow the rules of the NFL. Noting that he wants to be in Kap’s corner, Brown asserted that “I would advise the young man, if you’re a football player, play football.”
A longtime activist himself, Brown also expressed a strong feeling about the American flag in the footage embedded below.
A member of both the College and Pro Football Hall of Fame, Brown played nine seasons with the Cleveland Browns, leading them to the 1964 NFL Championship over the Baltimore Colts. Brown was an NFL Rookie of the Year, three-time MVP, and nine-time Pro Bowler. He is the only player to average 100 rushing yards per game over his career. He is also the first NFL player to rush for more than 10,000 yards, finishing his career with a total of 12,312.
Last season, Kaepernick began taking a knee during the national anthem as a protest against police brutality and racial injustice in America.
It’s unclear whether Kaepernick’s controversial political activism plus NFL owners’ concerns about distractions it might cause or his declining skills or a combination of both, have kept the signal caller off the gridiron so far. Earlier this week, Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy seem to suggest that Kaepernick just isn’t good enough anymore to justify the distractions. Kaepernick led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2013 (losing to the Baltimore Ravens) but last year he went just 1-10 as a starter, although he recorded 16 passing touchdowns and two rushing TDs.
Kaepernick supporters rallied outside NFL headquarters in New York City this past week.
In an interview with The Post Game website, Brown, 81, called upon Kaepernick to make up his mind about what he wants to do moving forward, implying that a player can’t do two things (i.e., football and political/social activism) at the same time. He also spoke forcefully about patriotism.
“I’m going to give you the real deal: I’m an American. I don’t desecrate my flag and my national anthem. I’m not gonna do anything against the flag and national anthem. I’m going to work within those situations. But this is my country, and I’ll work out the problems, but I’ll do it in an intelligent manner.”
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, “Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the National Anthem.”
Brown’s Kaepernick-related comments aren’t going over so well with the social justice cohort on Twitter as of this writing. Watch the Jim Brown clip below and draw your own conclusions.
Added: After Jim Brown addressed the team before the game, the entire Cleveland Browns squad stood for the national anthem prior to their pre-season matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa on Saturday night, ProFootballTalk reported.
[Featured Image by Seth Wenig/AP Images]