Former NFL receiver Dez Bryant may not be currently making headlines on the football field, but that doesn’t mean he’s staying out of the limelight.
On the latest episode of the “I Am An Athlete” podcast, Bryant joined former NFL players Brandon Marshall, Fred Taylor, Chad Johnson, and Channing Crowder.
In discussing his mother, as well as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Bryant took a few minutes to discuss Colin Kaepernick, implying that he hasn’t helped those who he claims to stand for.
“I respect Colin Kaepernick, but there’s one thing I don’t respect,” Bryant said. “And I said when I get the opportunity to get on the stage to say it, I would say it. And I love him to death, so there ain’t no hate. But brother, you had the biggest opportunity in the world to create jobs, build jobs, give jobs to people. The people that you were talking about, that you were so-called standing up for, the people who stood beside you, the people who lost their jobs because of you. Where you at? I ain’t heard from you.”
“He brought the awareness. And that’s why I respect him.”
When Marshall asked Bryant what the “call to action” was from Kaepernick’s message, Bryant said, “There wasn’t one. There was no call to action.”
— Sports Now with Darius & Aiden (@SportsNow_DA) September 27, 2021
Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016 with the San Francisco 49ers, when he began kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games in order to protest social injustice and police brutality.
Bryant’s comments quickly went viral on Monday, upsetting those who view Kaepernick as a hero of the social justice movement.
Former ESPN anchor and The Atlantic writer Jemele Hill jumped on social media to disagree with Bryant’s comments.
“With all due respect Dez Bryant, this is uninformed,” Hill wrote on Twitter. “Colin Kaepernick has created a publishing company, a SPAC that’s raising $300M for social justice initiatives, a production company, etc. On top of founding the Know Your Rights Camp. I don’t get the point of dragging his name.”
With all due respect @DezBryant, this is uninformed. Colin Kaepernick has created a publishing company, a SPAC that’s raising $300M for social justice initiatives, a production company, etc. On top of founding the Know Your Rights Camp. I don’t get the point of dragging his name. https://t.co/rKt6GUlHmg
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 27, 2021
Bryant also criticized Kaepernick in 2019, questioning the “action behind the words” in a Twitter post.
“Leaders create opportunities for the people following them,” Bryant wrote. “You cannot lead people without giving them 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. Let’s make aware the injustices but put more energy into finding the solutions.”
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) November 20, 2019
Since being out of the league, Kaepernick has written a children’s book about race. According to The Daily Wire, “I Color Myself Different” — marketed by Kaepernick Publishing — will discuss the athlete’s experiences as a black child adopted into a white family. The book is set to release in April 2022 with additional books to follow.”
“This story is deeply personal to me and inspired by real events in my life. I hope that it honors the courage and bravery of young people everywhere by encouraging them to live with authenticity and purpose,” added Kaepernick. “I hope that our books will inspire readers to walk through the world with confidence, strength, and truth in all they do.”
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to email@example.com.
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