Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre said Sunday that he believes Colin Kaepernick will reach a “hero status” in football similar to that of Pat Tillman, the former Arizona Cardinals player who left the NFL to serve in the U.S. Army after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Favre was interviewed by TMZ Sports and asked if Kaepernick had reached the level and stature of other sport figures such as Muhammad Ali and Jackie Robinson.
“I can only think of, off the top of my head, Pat Tillman’s another guy who did something similar and we regard him as a hero,” Favre said. “I’d assume that hero status will be stamped with Kaepernick as well.”
Tillman, 27, was killed in 2004 by friendly fire while serving in Afghanistan. He turned down a contract from the Cardinals to enlist.
Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016 when he started kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice in the United States.
He spent six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and led them to a Super Bowl, but has not been given an opportunity to sign with another team despite his desire to play again.
"It's not easy for a guy his age, black or white, Hispanic, whatever, to stop something that you've always dreamed of doing and put it on hold, maybe forever, for something that you believe in," Favre said.
The legendary Green Bay Packers quarterback also said he thinks the game has not passed up Kaepernick, 32, and he deserves an opportunity.
“I think from a football sense, I can’t imagine him being that far out of shape or that far out of touch with football that he doesn’t deserve a shot,” Favre said.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week he would encourage interested teams to sign Keapernick.
Goodell also released a video on June 5 saying he encouraged all players to “speak out and peacefully protest.”
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