Former National Football League quarterback Brett Favre told TMZ Sports on Sunday that he believes Colin Kaepernick will be remembered as a hero like the late Pat Tillman. Favre said that the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback should be commended for his willingness to give up his career for social justice.
The former Green Bay Packers star said that he believes Kaepernick will go down in football history as a legend due more to the time he hasn’t played than the time that he has.
“It’s not easy for a guy his age — black or white, Hispanic, whatever — to stop something that you’ve always dreamed of doing, and put it on hold, maybe forever, for something that you believe in,” Favre said.
Favre went so far as to compare Kaepernick’s choices to those of Tillman, another former NFL star who made headlines over his choice to leave his prestigious athletic position to try and effect change.
“I can only think of right off the top of my head, Pat Tillman is another guy that did something similar,” Favre said. “And, we regard him as a hero.”
“So, I’d assume that hero status will be stamped with Kaepernick as well.”
Tillman left the NFL in 2002 to join the army in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and the District of Columbia. Tillman died while in the service just two years later, in 2004, when he was hit by friendly fire in Afghanistan.
The former NFL star was 27 when he was accidentally shot by a fellow Army Ranger, according to History.
Following his death, Tillman was lauded as a national hero and promoted to corporal. He was also awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart medals.
— Nick Moutos (@votenickmoutos) June 21, 2020
According to Favre, however, it might not be over for Kaepernick in the NFL. The Hall-of-Famer said that he thinks that Kaepernick could come back from his three years out of the league. Favre said he believes the former backup quarterback was a “dynamic player” when he was with the 49ers and that he could still see playing time in the league again.
“He’s still young and hasn’t been hit in several years, so there’s no reason to think that he’s lost that much of a step.”
Kaepernick is known for being the player that began a protest during the national anthem by taking a knee when it was being played before games. His movement, which was to protest police brutality, resonated with many, including Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban.
Cuban has said that he would likely join in the protest if his players take part in the future.