In the victorious locker room, running back Alvin Kamara had his own powerful message.
Alvin Kamara takes on Trump, props up Kaepernick
The New Orleans Saints running back stepped out for interviews after a win over the Washington Redskins wearing a San Francisco 49ers jersey and a hat reading “Make Africa Home Again,” posing for an image shared by The New Orleans Times Picayune’s Josh Katzenstein.
Why the 49ers jersey? It was a Colin Kaepernick jersey, of course.
— Yahoo Sports NFL (@YahooSportsNFL) October 9, 2018
In a season where sideline protests of social injustice during the national anthem have been fewer alongside dampened controversy over the subject, Kamara’s is one of the most powerful statements yet.
Kamara’s statement follows Eric Reid’s
It comes on the same week that Eric Reid returned to the NFL with the Carolina Panthers and took a knee during the anthem. Reid was a teammate of Kaepernick’s in San Francisco and the first player to join his quarterback in kneeling during the anthem.
A 26-year-old safety who started 69 of his 70 career games with the 49ers, Reid had trouble finding a job in the wake of the anthem controversy.
About that hat
Kamara’s bright red hat obviously wasn’t just to match his jersey, but to take on the “Make America Great Again” hats popular among supporters of President Donald Trump.
The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2018
Issues haven’t disappeared with exciting NFL start
While the storylines of the NFL so far this season have centered around officiating controversies and soaring offenses, the underlying issues surrounding the social justice protests are still teeming.
Kamara’s post-game attire Monday is a stark reminder that those issues that sparked Kaepernick to kneel in the first place haven’t gone away just because the NFL season is off to an exciting start.
As long as Trump is still president, Kaepernick doesn’t have a job and social injustice exists in the United States, athletes will be inspired to use their platforms to raise their voices.