Colin Kaepernick has as good a chance of getting back in the NFL over the next few months as he has since his exile from the league nearly a half-decade ago. This change in tides is due to more impact figures across the league coming out in support of Kaepernick.
Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre has become the latest, as he claims that Kaepernick's sacrifice will eventually help him be viewed in the same vein as Pat Tillman.
“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. "Pat Tillman is another guy that did something similar, and, we regard him as a hero. So, I’d assume that hero status will be stamped with Kaepernick as well.”
Tillman, who enlisted in the Army after 9/11 but was killed by friendly fire in 2004, is remembered fondly because of how he was willing to sacrifice his NFL career for his personal beliefs. While Kaepernick's sacrifice was less universally praised, the sentiment is very much the same. As much of a lightning rod as he is right now, history will likely look at the whole situation more fondly than society is collectively handling this at the moment.
Even Favre has come over to Kaepernick's side of the fence, which proves that more major figures around the league are starting to come around on his fight. Comparing anyone to Tillman is a risky proposition, but Kaepernick is one of the few that can fit the bill.