Back in 2016, San Francisco 49ers player Colin Kaepernick caused a nationwide stir when began kneeling during the national anthem ahead of NFL games. Although he specifically explained the reasons behind his kneeling, many football fans labeled Colin's actions as blatantly disrespectful to the American flag.
In other words, they completely missed the point.
Fast-forward to today, and the U.S. is in the midst of a moral reckoning when it comes to the reality of systemic racism. More than two weeks after George Floyd was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer — who knelt on the Black man's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds as he laid face-down on the ground, pleading that he couldn't breathe and begging for his mama — worldwide protests are ongoing. And finally, some actual change is starting to happen.
Although Colin's kneeling was seriously misunderstood at the time, people have come to realize that his peaceful protest sparked a much larger movement than even he knew at the time. In fact, many are calling for the former NFL player to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem to protest police brutality.
Initially, Colin opted to sit during the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality. "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color," he told NFL Media at the time.
Colin slightly altered his approach after having a conversation with a former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces — which is when he switched kneeling during the national anthem.
Trump wishes NFL owners would tell anthem protesters "get that son of a bitch off the field right now" pic.twitter.com/gq4EH3lNoY— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) September 23, 2017
Plenty of NFL fans had strong opinions about Colin's act of peaceful protest. However, President Trump stoked the flames of outrage with his comments in 2017.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when someone disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b--ch off the field right now. Out. He's fired. He's fired!'" Trump said during a rally in Alabama.
Now, people are calling for Colin Kaepernick to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
On June 9, The View co-host, Sunny Hostin, said that Colin should be given a Nobel Peace Prize for his peaceful protesting during the national anthem. Whoopi Goldberg had asked Sunny if the former NFL player was owed an apology — considering he was not signed with a team after his police brutality demonstrations.
"I think he's not only owed an apology, Whoopi. I think he's owed his job. I think he's owed back pay," Sunny replied. "And I think he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize."
Sunny Hostin on Colin Kaepernick:— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) June 9, 2020
"I think he’s not only owed an apology... I think he’s owed his job. I think he’s owed back pay. I think he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize." pic.twitter.com/lgKy8MSBYm
Sunny went on to call out Roger Goodell, the National Football League Commissioner, for failing to mention Colin by name during a video statement in which he apologized for the NFL opposing players kneeling during the "Star Spangled Banner."
"I think it's shameful that people we're allowed to co-opt that movement and make it about the flag and make it something that it was never about. It really just is shameful," she explained. "I'm sort of shocked that Roger Goodell never mentioned his name."
We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter. #InspireChange pic.twitter.com/ENWQP8A0sv— NFL (@NFL) June 5, 2020
Sunny isn't alone when it comes to calling for Colin to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Plenty of Twitter users have also perpetuated the idea. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded each year in December — so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
Prediction: Colin Kaepernick will win the Nobel Peace Prize in October.— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) June 8, 2020
Someone give this man a Nobel Peace Prize. He sacrificed what he loved for what he believed in. They refused to see that a racism was reaching a tipping point and Colin Kaepernick lost its all to save next next generation from hating each other. #blacklivesmatter #NobelforKaep pic.twitter.com/fjpJOPVAZZ— SP (@PeanShawn) June 6, 2020
So we’re pretty sure at this point that Colin Kaepernick is receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, right?— Steve Tally (@SteveTally) June 7, 2020
If you are looking for ways to donate your time or money to Black Lives Matter and other antiracist organizations, we have created a list of resources to get you started.