More and more players have joined Colin Kaepernick’s protests of racial inequality and police brutality, but they all have one thing in common.
And until that changes, some wonder how much progress can be made.
“You need a white guy to join the fight. The white guy is super important to the fight,” Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett told the Seattle Times (via ESPN.com). “For people to really see social injustices, there must be someone from the other side of the race who recognizes the problem, because a lot of times if just one race says there’s a problem, nobody is realistic about it.”
Some white players, including Patriots defensive end Chris Long, have spoken about the importance of the protests, but it’s a topic many white players likely feel uncomfortable inserting themselves into. And while former Green Beret/Seahawks training camp long snapper Nate Boyer has met with Kaepernick and came away impressed with his sincerity, no current player has made himself visible.
“I saw Chris Long spoke out about it, but no one wants to talk about what he said and him bringing that to the forefront and speaking out against it,” Kaepernick said. “That’s where it gets very touchy because a white player standing up for this is like, ‘OK, now we really have to address it, it isn’t just black people speaking out because they feel like they’re being attacked.’ No, it’s a real issue. And it’s disproportionately an issue to people of color.
“I think it was huge that Chris stood up and took that stand. I don’t know if he realizes how much that means to this movement and trying to get things changed.”
Other than U.S. women’s national soccer team star Megan Rapinoe, the movement has been lacking white faces.
But the real impact of a white player standing up for Kaepernick would also illustrate that to solve any problem, every human being has to realize we’re connected to one another — and that it’s hard to make anything equal when lines are constantly being drawn to divide.