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If the NFL really cares about racial justice then they need to hire Colin Kaepernick back

Let me get this straight: Colin Kaepernick still doesn't have a job in the NFL. It's disgraceful to the league. If the NFL is saddened by the events of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tracy Walker, Ahmaud Arbery and many others, then the biggest statement they can make is hire Colin back. It's never too late. Even if he isn't a quarterback, there is such an obvious position for him. I will get to that later, but let us focus on his accomplishments on the field for now.



Stats do not lie. The San Francisco 49ers made a trade with the Denver Broncos to move up and pick Kaepernick as 36th overall in the 2011 NFL draft. After replacing an injured Alex Smith midway through the 2012 season, the quarterback quickly became a defensive coordinators nightmare throwing for 1,814 yards and 10 touchdowns while rushing for 415 yards and five scores on the ground in just seven starts, posting a record of 5-2.

In Kaepernick's first playoff start, he led his team to a 45-31 victory over the Green Bay Packers while chalking up 181 rushing yards, which was an NFL playoff record for a quarterback. He came within three points of winning the Super Bowl but fell short to the Baltimore Ravens 34-31. The following year, he went 12-4 making it to the NFC championship game.

Football fans know that the eyeball test is often times more important than stats—and to watch Kaepernick play the game was something truly special. He started to tail off after his first initial run. We all saw it. But to say that a talent like his doesn't belong in the NFL, even as a second or third string quarterback, means you don't understand football.

But it does mean that team owners and the NFL in general may not understand something essential about race in America in 2020. However, there is a solution.



Not only has Kaepernick been out of the league without the physical wear and tear of four years of playing in the NFL, but he's entering his 30's where most quarterbacks hit their prime. The last time I checked, the New England Patriots have won Super Bowls signing players like Chris Long, Jamie Collins and Danny Amendola who were once great and had something to prove. Kaepernick could be the same.

His style fits perfectly with offenses like the Baltimore Ravens and the Seattle Seahawks, where he could easily be a backup. Or if anyone wants to run the wildcat or bring him in as a curveball on third or fourth and short situations. You mean to tell me that the Bengals, the longtime doormats of the league regarding both moral and on-the-field success, can't use a player like Kaepernick?

The Cincinnati Bengals drafted running back Joe Mixon in the 2nd round of the 2017 draft after a brutal, and I do mean brutal, video that surfaced from a surveillance camera that shows him knocking a woman out. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was caught on a security camera punching his girlfriend unconscious in an elevator. Ray Rice never played in the NFL again. The difference?

Ray Rice was at the end of his career, so it was extremely easy to say that they didn't want a guy like that playing on their team anymore. So, what moral high ground did the Bengals take on a guy who had fallen in the draft based on his questionable character? (and by that, I mean, horrifically hurting a woman with one incredibly ruthless and unnecessary closed first to the face). They drafted him.

But heaven forbid any NFL team sign a quarterback who led his team to a Super Bowl his first year playing and decided to speak out on social injustice.



Kaepernick started the movement by sitting down on the bench during the national anthem before a preseason game. The problem people had was that he took a knee in the games to come. For those of you who do not know, Kaepernick took a knee after consulting with his friend and retired green beret, Nate Boyer, who explained the most respectful way to go about making his voice heard. It was Nate who said that it was a sign of respect to take a knee— that's what soldiers do for fallen brothers.

The question begs which is worse: standing up for something you believe in and being respectful or violently assaulting women? The NFL owners will do right by their fans. Apparently, it is more forgivable to hit women than it is to bring awareness to inequality.

The real reason no team would touch Colin Kaepernick is because they think it will hurt their fan base. Football fans are extremely patriotic and cheer when the national anthem reaches the line "and the rockets' red glare," and go nuts when the fighter jets roar above the stadium. Of course, I also love a good flyover. But it was the action of kneeling that people took as disrespecting the flag. Except it wasn't.

Had Kaepernick raised a fist instead, I don't know if we would be having this conversation, which is the point. He made us have this conversation. That was his biggest crime. He was simply exercising his right to freedom of speech without saying a word. That sounds pretty damn patriotic to me.





Even if there is not one NFL team that thinks Colin Kaepernick can make their team better, there is the other role he can play. The National Football League, a multi-billion-dollar machine, can hire him to be a racial liaison. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell claims the league is serious about implementing change. He issued a statement on Saturday:

"The NFL family is greatly saddened by the tragic events across our country. The protesters' reactions to these incidents reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel. Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Mr. George Floyd and to those who have lost loved ones, including the families of Ms. Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, the cousin of Tracy Walker of the Detroit Lions. As current events dramatically underscore, there remains much more to do as a country and as a league. These tragedies inform the NFL's commitment and our ongoing efforts. There remains an urgent need for action. We recognize the power of our platform in communities and as part of the fabric of American society. We embrace that responsibility and are committed to continuing the important work to address these systemic issues together with our players, clubs and partners."

So, I ask you Mr. Goodell, why not hire Collin Kaepernick as a racial liaison, the man who brought this awareness to the national stage? Rather than talking about change, be the change.

More importantly, say his name: Collin Kaepernick. Hire him.

Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
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Images provided by Pacifico

Making waves in the best way

True

At last, summer is here. And for many people, that means it's time for heading to the beach and maybe even catching some waves. Surfing is a quintessential summertime activity for those who live in coastal communities—it’s not only really fun and challenging, it’s also a great way to celebrate Mother Nature’s beauty. Even after a wipeout, the cool water mixed with warm sunshine offers a certain kind of euphoria. Or, you know, just hanging back on the sand is plenty fun too. Simply being outdoors near the ocean is its own reward.

pacifico quiksilver beach cleanupLet’s protect the places where outdoor adventure happensAll photos provided by Pacifico

However, it's well known that our beautiful beaches are suffering the consequences of overcrowding, pollution and littering. What was once a way of playing in nature is now slowly destroying it. And of course, this affects beachgoers everywhere. The sad truth is—without taking action to preserve all the natural joys the earth provides, we will eventually lose them.

But there is hope. Two popular brands that both have roots in surf culture have teamed up to help make trips to the beach a more sustainable pastime. The best part? You don’t have to know how to hang ten in order to participate.

Pacifico®, a pilsner-style lager originally brought to the U.S. by surfers, and Quiksilver, an iconic apparel company loved by both surfers and beach goers alike, have created a brand-new range of clothing and accessories with sustainability in mind.

Take a look below. These threads are great for all kinds of fun in the sun, without compromising the environment.

pacifico quicksilver beach cleanupsReady to make some waves

The collection launches on July 5 and includes tees and woven shirts, boardshorts, hats, flip-flops and a special beach towel and tote bag. The unique collaboration features the vibrant, colorful designs that are the hallmark of Quiksilver combined with Pacifico elements, created to make a positive impact.

Each item has been thoughtfully curated to minimize an environmental footprint and protect the outdoors. The hats, for example, are made from NetPlus® by Bureo®, a raw material created from South American recycled fishing nets. Additionally, the board shorts are made from recycled plastic bottles, and tees are made with 100% organic cotton. Pretty rad stuff, to put it in surfer lingo.

The prices on these pieces are equally rad, ranging from $28 flip-flops to $60 boardshorts.

In keeping with the sustainable ethos and protecting the places we play, Pacifico and Quiksilver will celebrate the products’ launch by hosting two beach cleanups. The first is on July 5 at Sunset Point in Malibu, California, from 4-5:30pm, and the second is on July 9th at Deerfield Beach in Florida from 8:30 – 10:30am.

pacifico quicksilver clothing lineCleaning up and looking good while doing it

Theses beach cleanups are open to anyone over the age of 21 who’s ready to have some fun while taking care of nature’s playground.

Those who can’t make it to the beach (bummer, dude) don’t have to miss out on all the fun. The new collection will be available on July 5th at www.quiksilver.com/mens-collab-pacifico. And even if you don’t surf, never plan to surf, have no desire to even be near a surfboard, rest assured, the apparel is still cool. Plus sustainable choices are always good fashion.

Our planet provides us with an endless supply of beauty and adventure. But without more mindful actions from humanity, its natural wonders will eventually diminish. Fortunately Pacifico and Quiksilver are making it easier than ever for people to enjoy the great outdoors without jeopardizing it. That’s a wave worth riding.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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