SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 23: Eli Harold #58, Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel for the anthem prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. The Buccaneers defeated the 49ers 34-17. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

This past 2016 NFL season was memorable, as much for what happened on the field as off it. The whole country was captivated as San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, began a controversial movement. On August 26, 2016, Kaepernick made the sports headlines when he sat down during the national anthem. After, he explained his actions: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” And what was most interesting was the polarizing fallout, with the country seemingly divided on the issue.

Colin Kaepernick Is an Inspiration

Kaepernick became a leader for many

In the beginning, Kaepernick was taking this stance against the national anthem alone. However, on September 1st he was accompanied by his teammate Eric Reid. That same day Jeremy Lane of the Seattle Seahawks, sat down during the anthem in protest as well. The day marked the transition from a personal protest to a national movement. Black athletes across the country participated in his movement ranging from high school to professional sports. His influence is so powerful that fans from various teams are buying his jersey across the country.

Did not Let Criticism Stop Him

The main key to success is criticism. Many people publicly criticized Kaepernick for his movement because they felt that he was disrespecting military veterans. However, many veterans support Kaepernick’s movement, some even created the hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick. Stephen A. Smith, host of the sports show ‘First Take’, chose to condemn the movement, saying: “As far as I’m concerned, Colin Kaepernick is absolutely irrelevant…I don’t want to hear a darn word about anything he has to say about our nation.” Despite the harsh negativity, the then 49ers quarterback refused to let criticism divert him from the movement, and he carried on his merry way.

Beliefs Over the Money

Colin Kaepernick went from the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers to now being unemployed. NFL teams did not want to pick him up, perhaps a mixture of what he lacks on the field with what he brings off it. Many believe it is directly due to his protest. For whatever reason, he continues to be an activist for the black community which is in iteself commendable, whether you agree with his methodology or not. He refuses to silence his voice in order to satisfy a league that wants to put an end to his protest. He inspires man because of his perseverance in letting his voice be heard in an effort to spark change in America.

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My name is Janae Adams, and I am from the Bay Area, California. I am a huge sports fan, and of course my favorite team is the Golden State Warriors. I attended Alabama A&M University on a softball scholarship, but I am transferring to Clark Atlanta University for Fall 2017 to continue my education. I am a Mass Media Arts major with a concentration in journalism. Currently, I work for the Golden State Warriors team store, and previously I worked for the San Francisco Giants Dugout Store. Sports is my passion, and I can't wait for everyone to read my work.