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Sun February 2 2020, 1:00 // Posted by corvum

CORVUM Hero Spotlight + Staff Feature: Henry & Kaepernick

Henry Nguyen is our sweetheart of a Full Stack Developer. He loves to learn and eat! Brain-food and food-food, we dig it! Henry says he likes working at Corvum because of the “caring, fun, and knowledgeable” people. Well it takes one to know one! For this edition of Corvum’s Hero Spotlight Henry has chosen Colin Kaepernick: “because not only is he an amazing athlete – but he’s so much more than that. He stood up for what he believed in even if that meant giving up football.” Amazing humans doing amazing things for humanity. You can read more about Henry here! As is well publicized, Super Bowl 2020 is this Sunday and the San Francisco 49ers were back in the game. Kaepernick having played quarterback for the 49ers the last time the team reached the Super Bowl in 2013.

Kapernick hasn’t played with the NFL since 2016 after he famously took a knee multiple times during the National Anthem in protest of police brutality, and in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. While his “taking a knee” started a domino effect with many other players joining in support, it was Kaepernick who received the most backlash – as some saw the quarterback’s stance as “unpatriotic”. Donald Trump making use of his reality TV catchphrase and yelling “he’s fired!” on air. In response, the NFL released a statement in 2018 stipulating that players must stand during the National Anthem, or stay in the locker room – otherwise their teams would be fined. For more on that check out this article on CNN. “Kaepernick remains a free agent without a team at present… the NFL appears reluctant to endorse his controversial gesture.” writes the Independent. In the meantime he was named GQ’s Citizen of the Year and received the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award in 2017.

In 2018 he was also named Ambassador of Conscience by Amnesty International. Secretary-general Salil Shetty stating, the award: “celebrates the spirit of activism and exceptional courage, as embodied by Colin Kaepernick.”Kaepernick was again a heated topic of discussion in the days leading up to this year’s Super Bowl as his former team the 49ers took centre field once more. “Don’t expect a mention this time” shouted the headline in The Guardian last week. The NFL has “co-opted his message even as it vigorously tries to scrub away his legacy” pointed out The Daily Beast.  In reference to a 2 minute ad which was set to air during the game. “The ad stars retired player Anquan Boldin sharing the story of his cousin, Corey Jones, who in 2015 was shot and killed by a Florida police officer.” an article in AdAge informs.“Kaepernick’s banishment is the reason artists like Cardi B and Rihanna have turned down the Super Bowl halftime show. It’s the reason the NFL’s partnership with Jay-Z, designed to amplify its social justice efforts, was instantly panned”.

Kaepernick has our utmost respect for risking it all to bring an immensely important topic to light. Even if the NFL’s reasoning for making the ad isn’t as altruistic as one would hope, the fact that it is happening at all – speaks volumes. Kaepernick has made an impact. Now is the time for a team in the NFL to do the right thing and sign this brave, bold,  athlete and humanitarian. Kaepernick deserves to play the game he loves and is so great at. He should no longer be punished for caring about people and doing something to help bring about change. Where is Kaepernick in all of this presently? He is working as hard as ever to get back to the game and career he loves. All the while still standing his ground and doing good in the world. USA Today quotes Kaepernick as saying: “I’ve been ready for three years, I’ve been denied for three years”.

Last November 2019  the NFL set up a workout whereby “… all 32 teams were invited to come and see Kaepernick…It was supposed to be a standard Pro Day-type workout, with Kaepernick going through measurements, drills and interviews with team executives.” That day Kaepernick announced he would not be attending the official NFL workout and would hold his own to ensure a “transparent and open process” according to another article from USA Today. “My agent, Jeff Nalley, is ready to talk to any team, I’ll interview with any team at any time. I’ve been ready, I’m staying ready and I’ll continue to be ready.”We hope he gets that chance. Stay strong Kaepernick – you are a true hero!