Hall of Fame defensive back Brian Dawkins commends Colin Kaepernick for getting the conversation started on social injustice in the United States.
Newly minted Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins shared his thoughts on Nike making Colin Kaepernick the face of their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. Dawkins said of the ad it’s “surprising and very controversial in a lot of respects, but if you look at the conversation he got started it’s still in the forefront.”
Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 while with the San Francisco 49er’s, created a snowball effect causing several other NFL players to use their platforms and stand up for causes they believe in.
Although Dawkins realizes that many people may not agree with the way Kaepernick decided to protest and share his message, he recognizes the effect Kaepernick has had on other NFL players, and the positive outcomes that it could cause.
“So many players have moved from just protesting, I’m speaking specifically in Philadelphia with Malcolm [Jenkins] and Torrey Smith and what they’ve done. Going to Capitol Hill and having conversations about social justice and reform in the system. That’s what [Kaepernick] started.”
In June, Malcolm Jenkins made national headlines after he opted to not answer any questions during an interview session, but instead held up poster boards with facts and figures detailing the broken justice system in the United States. Fellow Eagles’ teammates Chris Long and Torrey Smith have also been vocal on social media as well as in interviews about their displeasure regarding the current President and the injustice against minorities in America.
While most of the national conversation has been about the act of kneeling during the national anthem, Dawkins explained how, despite that, things will still get done behind the scenes.
“There are going to be a lot of positive outcomes from those individuals who are not just in public protesting, who are behind the scenes having conversations, sitting down with law enforcement, police officers and really understanding the plight both ways,” Dawkins said. “The only way you can have any change is if you communicate.”
Although there hasn’t been a substantial change yet, the conversation around social justice is louder than ever, which is a start.
Dawkins is partnering with VerizonUp, a new rewards program for the company where customers can enter to win one-of-a-kind fan experiences. VerizonUp offers VIP concert tickets, meet and greets with athletes and musicians and even a chance to play flag football with former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham. Verizon customers also have the ability to stream live NFL games all season long.
“Those are opportunities you are creating for your family that you wouldn’t be able to,” Dawkins said. “I’ve been blessed to partner up with them to help fans get a better understanding of what they can accomplish when you join Verizon.”
Breakdown of Brian Dawkins interview
[1:16] Dawkins on Hall of Fame speech
[3:45] Dawkins on post-NFL life
[9:35] Dawkins on Colin Kaepernick and Nike ad
[10:18] Dawkins on players protesting