Colin Kaepernick’s protest against the National Anthem has been one of the biggest stories of the current NFL season. Initially, it was feared that his choice would split the locker room. However, it’s looking like it did the opposite.
Kaepernick was recently awarded the San Francisco 49ers Len Eshmont Award, given to members of the team who “best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of Len Eshmont, an original member of the 1946 49ers team,” according to ESPN.
Over recent months, multiple teammates and 49ers officials have come out to support Kaepernick, even some who initially didn’t quite understand his methods.
“After Kap stated his case today, and seeing where he is coming from, I do stand with Kap when he says ‘enough is enough’ against crime and the violence and discrimination and racism,” said Center Daniel Kilgore said after a team meeting August.
In September, 49ers owner Jed York followed Kaepernick’s lead and donated $1 million to various organizations to help fight inequality.
As of now, Kaepernick has started the offseason as the 49ers didn’t qualify for the NFL playoffs. Regardless of what happens in the future of his playing career, his actions during this season will be an example of how professional athletes can use their platforms to spark change for years.