The saying goes don't mix politics and sports. Well in 2017 politics are ingrained into our lives like the phones in our pockets, we just can't avoid them.
Yet for some, sports was the only place they could escape political issues and social statements. Insert Colin Kaepernick.
It's been more than a year since the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback took a knee during the national anthem to raise awareness on inequality in America, and since then madness has ensued.
Sports talk radio lamented him for being disrespectful to the flag, social media comment sections sounded like white America in the 1950's and sports fans responded with three poignant words: Stick to sports.
Stop right there. Athletes aren't robots paid to go out and catch footballs while having no opinion on our social climate. They are human and maybe even more aware of the reality of the America that we live in.
Colin Kaepernick became the poster child of protest in sports yet for all the flack he's received, his stance hasn't wavered. He's donated over $80,000 dollars to inner city youth and has reached out to numerous civil leaders working to improve race relations.
Fans don't own the players and fans aren't owed anything from them. Kaepernick isn't asking you to agree with his message, all he's asking is for us to listen because for decades society has ignored the issues he's trying to address.
If Kaepernick was to try to make a statement on social media about racial issues how effective would that be? It'd be forgotten within a week. He takes a knee during the national anthem and 13 months later we're still talking about it.
Stick to sports? No. It's time for fans to stick to being fans. We all have opinions and that's a good thing because it create conversation and discussion. But don't shoot the man down because you disagree with the message.
Don't take a knee Kap. Take a breath, you've already done enough by starting this discussion. Bravo.