Brett Favre tried Monday to add nuance after appearing to equate Colin Kaepernick’s protests with the late Pat Tilllman’s military service.
Favre, in a tweet, referred to Tillman’s 2004 death in action in Afghanistan, writing the former NFL defensive back “deserves the highest honor.”
The Hall of Fame quarterback drew heavy criticism for telling TMZ Sports that Kaepernick would, in time, be considered a “hero” for speaking out against police brutality and racial injustice just as Tillman is considered a hero for qutting football to enlist in the U.S. Army after 9/11.
“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 of Kaepernick to TMZ. “I can only think of right off the top of my head, Pat Tillman is another guy who did something similar. And, we regard him as a hero. So, I’d assume that hero status will be stamped with Kaepernick as well.”
Many Americans, including President Donald Trump, consider Kaepernick’s kneeling during the national anthem — which he did in the 2016 season — to be disrespectful to the American flag and U.S. military. Kaepernick got the idea to kneel from former Army Green Beret Nate Boyer, who was trying to make the Seahawks as a long snapper. Kaepernick had been sitting during the anthem.
Kaepernick has been out of football since opting out of his 49ers contract in March 2017.
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