Former NBA star Kobe Bryant and former NFL star Colin Kaepernick were seen together at the U.S. Open on Thursday. The two sports figures embraced each other as they were taking in a U.S. Open match in New York. Bryant is one of the many athletes who support Kaepernick who hasn't played in the NFL since the end of the 2016 season after protesting during the national anthem throughout the entire year.
In fact, Bryant went on record last year and said he would have protested with Kaepernick if he was still playing.
"Yeah, I would have participated in it, for sure,” Bryant told Jemele Hill who was at The Undefeated at the time. “I’m sure I would have gotten some flak for it. That’s fine. I think that Colin’s message was a very simple one. It was police brutality needs to stop; we need to take a look at that.”
Kaepernick has been on the social justice train since protesting during the national anthem in 2016 when he was still a member of the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick drew national headlines when he made the move, which led to him not being signed by another team when he opted out of his contract.
The Nevada alum then filed a grievance against the NFL, accusing league owners of collusion to keep him out of the league. Earlier this year, it was announced that Kaepernick reached a settlement with the NFL and withdrew the grievance.
There are a few players who are currently supporting Kapernick as they are kneeling during the anthem. His former team mate, Eric Reid who is now with the Carolina Panthers, said he will continue to kneel and Kapernick went to Instagram to respond.
"Unwavering. Unrelenting. Unflinching. Unapologetic. Love you, Brother," he wrote.0comments
Kaepernick put together a solid career as a member of the 49ers. His best season was in 2013 when he threw for 3,197 yards, 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions while rushing for 524 and four touchdowns. However, in 2012, Kapernick replaced Alex Smith as the starting quarterback midway through the year and led the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance only to lose to the Baltimore Ravens.
As for Bryant, he retired from the NBA in the summer of 2016 and he left the game five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star. Bryant was named MVP in 2008 and he was named NBA Finals MVP in 2009 and 2010.