Jim Brown was both an activist and a great football player. But he doesn’t think Colin Kaepernick can be.
Brown told ThePostGame.com that he thinks Kaepernick has to make a choice between the two, and Brown seems to think Kaepernick has not chosen wisely.
“Colin has to make up his mind, whether he’s truly an activist, or whether he’s a football player,” Brown said. “If you try to be both in a situation, football is commercial, you have owners, you have fans, and you want to honor that if you’re making that kind of money. If you have a cause, I think you should organize it, present it in a manner where it’s not only you standing on one knee, but a lot of people that are going to get behind each other and do something about it. I ask you one question: Who is Colin calling on to follow what he’s talking about? So many of us have always done it, and we’re here to help anyone that wants to do it, but I would advise the young man, if you’re a football player, play football. If you’re going to be a real activist, use your money, use your notoriety.”
Those comments were a bit hard to follow, and when he says that Kaepernick needs to “use your money, use your notoriety” he seems unaware that Kaepernick has spent a lot of money and a lot of time this year promoting causes he believes in.
Brown also indicated that he thinks it’s reasonable for NFL owners not to want Kaepernick on their teams after his national anthem protest last year.
“If I sign for money, then these people I sign with, they have rules and regulations,” Brown said. “I’m an American. I don’t desecrate my flag and my national anthem. I’m not going to do anything against the flag and the national anthem.”
Kaepernick did not, of course, desecrate the American flag. He knelt in a silent protest during the anthem. Several other players joined him and have managed to keep their jobs in the NFL. There’s no reason Kaepernick couldn’t both engage in protests and play in the NFL. It’s odd that Brown, of all people, thinks the two are mutually exclusive.