Courage. In pro football, it is said to be a requisite character trait for the most important position on the field. A quarterback does not need to show real-world courage in the face of real-world adversity, Fletcher Cox Jerseysof course. Just the courage to stay in there and take a hit.
Colin Kaepernick has shown both in a six-year NFL career that, amazingly enough, Jordan Matthews Jerseysmight be over. Four years ago, he was tough enough to lead his San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl. Last year he was tough enough to stand tall while taking a seat during a preseason playing of the national anthem.
He ended up on the cover of Time magazine. Carson Wentz JerseysHe also ended up unemployed, Brian Dawkins Jerseyseven though Kaepernick is better than two-thirds of the 100-plus quarterbacks in training camp. He knew when he protested systemic racism that he might pay this kind of professional price, and he put himself out there anyway.
That's why NFL players who have followed his lead represent the very best of their generation of professional athletes. Active players who are protesting the anthem by sitting (including Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks and Marshawn Lynch of the Oakland Raiders) or by raising a fist (including Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles and Robert Quinn of the Los Angeles Rams) understand there might very well be a financial penalty to pay. They've seen it with their own eyes, as a Kaepernick-free league barrels toward opening day.