After gracing the cover of Time last fall, Colin Kaepernick has been named to the magazine’s Top 100 Influential People list. Kaepernick’s protests impacted humanity on a global level. Some became empowered to enlist as community leaders or simply express their frustrations with a perceived cultural imbalance. Others tore apart every ounce of Kaepernick, from his motivation to his patriotism.
Among those impressed with Kaepernick’s activism were his coaches with the 49ers. The recently fired Chip Kelly defended Kaepernick’s right to action and free speech last season. But it is Jim Harbaugh, Kaepernick’s head coach from 2011-2014, who Time asked to write about the power of his former player.
The entire passage is incredibly poignant and worth a read. Here’s a snippet.
At times in our nation’s history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust. Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or—most important—harming our own personal interests….How lucky for us all and for our country to have among our citizens someone as remarkable as Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick was not the only NFL quarterback to make the list. Tom Brady was also selected, albeit for vastly different reasons. His passage was written by Conan O’Brien.