The ongoing social unrest has caused many to remember the message from quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others in 2016 and 2017, even if some didn’t like the way the message was sent. On Monday free-agent NFL linebacker Brandon Marshall addressed the situation with Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com.
“Back then, we were called rogues, people said that we didn’t deserve jobs, but this is what we were talking about then,” Marshall told Legwold. “I think people are looking at [Kaepernick] now like, ‘OK, maybe he knew.’ People didn’t want to hear the message after, ‘Oh, they were kneeling,’ they didn’t want that message, weren’t ready for it, didn’t listen.
“I hope, and I look at it, I hope people are ready for the message. I really hope they’re ready for change.”
Marshall said he has recently spoken to Kaepernick about the murder of George Floyd and its aftermath.
“We talked some about what’s happened — and this is why he started the Know Your Rights foundation — and I asked him if he needed me to do anything or what I could do to help,” Marshall told Legwold. “He said right now, at the moment, he’s concentrating on legal assistance for the protesters, but we’ll talk more moving forward.”
The conversations will surely be aimed at efforts to fix the problem of police brutality and systemic racism against African-Americans and people of color.
“We need everybody to care about this, not to see it as just a black or brown problem,” Marshall said. “When people see this as a people problem, and not a black person’s problem or a person of color’s problem, then we can have real change. I look at all of the faces in the real, peaceful protests and I see maybe we’re ready to listen now, maybe we’re ready to see it as a people problem and that real, lasting, effective change can happen.”
Many are ready for change. Hopefully, enough people — and those who serve in positions of power — will embrace strategies for bringing people together instead of stoking fears aimed at keeping people divided for political gain or private profit.