Taking to Twitter on Tuesday evening, Bryant expressed in a voluble message to Kaepernick that “I’m not against you I’m with you.. I just want to see the change as well.” Challenging Kaepernick to lead “the right way,” the legendary wide receiver nudged the ex-49ers superstar to better communicate his fight against social and racial injustice in America.
The narrative was created and the dialogue began but that’s just the first step. Where are the next steps? Where is the action behind the words. How do we expect any change if we leave it here. Your attempt to gain entry back into a league that does not agree with your views … what has and what will change? It is still the same league. At the end of the day you have all the eyes and ears. Lead the people the right way. Create the examples through action such as what Jay-Z has done collaborating with the NFL in an initiative to create something to benefit social justice as well as help athletes as myself through life and our careers. Helping us by lifting us through eduation and knowledge. Equipping people to sow seeds of knowledge into their respective communities. When it’s all said and done if nothing changes what was gained?
Leaders create opportunities for the people following them. You cannot lead people without giving proper direction. We have to be careful opening up a dialogue that resonates deeply with so many but have no preparation and/or a solution behind it. Lets make aware the injustices but put more energy into finding the solutions.
Bryant received predictable pushback from his remarks, with Kaepernick supporters flooding his mentions. While clearly stating he’s not necessarily opposing Kaepernick nor his values, Dez had enough conviction to stand tall in the face of public outcry.
Bryant fired off several tweets since his initial rant. The one below best captures his overall feeling of a hard lesson that not everyone can be simultaneously pleased.
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Quinn Goes on Scathing Rant Defending Kaep
That Kaepernick is back in the news, and what for — his staged NFL workout — shouldn’t be news to begin with. This, according to Cowboys defensive end Robert Quinn, who exclaimed in a long-winded rant last week that it’s “embarrassing” Kaepernick is being forced to prove his worth to possibly re-enter the sport he once dominated.
“I wish him the best of luck,” Quinn said, per the Dallas Morning News, of Kaepernick’s league-wide tryout, held Saturday. “He should never have even been in this position for having your voice heard. He took his team to a Super Bowl. Pro Bowl. Done all that stuff. So for him to go through all what he had to go through for making a stance, which the media took it and ran and put him in this situation is kind of embarrassing to America that the guy has got to go re-prove himself over making a stance on something that shouldn’t have to be confronted in today’s world. So good luck, Kaep.”
Of course, the stance Quinn’s referring to was Kaepernick’s demonstration that he showed by kneeling during the National Anthem. What he “had to go through” was a two-year period of inactivity from his 2017 departure out of San Francisco to today — a period that many believe the league precipitated by colluding to keep the dual-threat signal-caller unsigned.
Jerry Jones Offers Final Statement on Colin Kaepernick, Cowboys
On Tuesday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doubled down on his disinterest regarding Kaepernick. Without explicitly saying so, Jones declared that current Dallas backup QB Cooper Rush is a better fit for the team than Kaepernick, whose highly anticipated NFL workout has brought about zero job offers.
“We believe that we’re in great shape relative to our position. … We’re very fortunate right now that our quarterbacking is real good,” Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan, via The Athletic.
Originally scheduled to take place at the Falcons’ training facility, Kaepernick’s personal Scouting Combine instead took place at a local school roughly an hour away — the goal being transparency from Kaep’s camp. Few media members and even fewer scouts attended the event at Charles Drew High, which Jones believes was a dog-and-pony show.
“That situation from the get-go probably had a lot more that wasn’t about football involved in it and consequently we got the results of that dynamic,” he said.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL