Colin Kaepernick, former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, has made a name for himself in 2017 GQ magazine dubbed him Citizen of the Year in 2017, while Time magazine gave him Runner Up status for its Person of the Year in 2017.
His notoriety stems from the movement he helped inspire, stemming back to a season before when he chose to take a knee in protest while the National Anthem was played before one of his NFL football games. His actions stirred controversy almost immediately.
While at first he knelt alone for much of the 2016 season (and, for debatable reasons, remains unsigned even now, well into the 2017 season), his actions not only stirred anger in those who were offended by his stance, but also helped inspired men like him to exercise their voice as they protested a variety of topics in America.
These topics included not only police brutality, which Kaepernick originally targeted, but also issues targeted at the highest public office of the land, President Donald Trump. Kaepernick’s persona is lauded by some, and refuted by others.
Recently Colin Kaepernick decided to use some of his influence to speak to a group of prisoners held on Riker’s Island in New York, and surprisingly, the city allowed him to do so. So he spoke to various groups of inmates, both adult and juvenile, on the problems of police brutality, according to Fox News.
The problem in all this was felt by the prison guards themselves. They realized that Kaepernick’s influence could stir a rebellion within the prison walls that they are accessing, as if on the front lines of a war.
“That’s crazy to me to have a person like Colin Kaepernick in prison talking about police brutality,” said an officer who attended one of Kaepernick’s two events. “It was insulting for me to be there.”
The officer said further, “In the inmate’s eyes, we are the police when they’re locked up.”
Kaepernick started the morning off with breakfast in the warden’s office, then headed over to the “Peace Center,” where he spoke twice for 45 minutes to prisoners clad in gray jumpsuits. The first of those groups included 14 inmates, consisting of six adults and eight adolescents.
A volunteer who witnessed the event said that Kaepernick spoke for about 10 minutes then fielded questions, which, according to the volunteer, were fairly basic, such as what was like to play in the NFL.
“Then they asked him about taking a knee, why was he doing it. He said he was doing it to call attention to police brutality,” said the source, according to The New York Post.
“He said he felt that, being a man of means, he felt obligated to take a stance on what he believes in.”
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