It was an inevitable, though farcical and ridiculous, ploy of the left-stream media to hoist Colin Kaepernick onto a pedestal in a review of sports in the past decade. USA Today's For The Win blog argues that he was the most important athlete of the decade. This is not a joke!
Feature writer and editor Chris Korman's choice of most important athlete of the decade played little more than half a decade in the NFL. In six years he threw just 72 touchdown passes and lost 30 of 58 games as a starting quarterback. Kaepernick (seen at right in photo during 2016 anthem protest with teammate Eric Reid) added his name to a long list of losing Super Bowl quarterbacks, but to the social justice warrior-loving media that's practically enough for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His sports career was so unremarkable that's he most remembered for protesting during the national anthem and bad-mouthing his country.
An endless list of real, legitimate sports heroes includes legendary figures who were light-years ahead of Kaepernick this last decade. Michael Phelps, Tom Brady, Simone Biles, Steph Curry, LeBron James, Usain Bolt, Serena Williams, Mike Trout, Drew Brees and so many more who thundered to championships, to dominate their arenas, are more deserving than the embittered, disrespectful malcontent Kaepernick.
So how does Korman try to justify his selection?
Though Kaepernick is "one of the most polarizing figures in a polarized decade, driving debate everywhere from television to Twitter to the proverbial diner counters and corner bars where America gathers," his protest in 2016 launched "millions of discussions" and worked as intended:
"Let’s not pretend that the culture remained unmoved (and, at the very least, people were compelled to state what they believe.)"
While the aforementioned superstars were busy winning trifling championships, Kaepernick’s protest gave rise to other voices in sports, Korman writes.
Megan Rapinoe "was an early adopter, kneeling during the anthem in September of 2016. Even after her breakout performance this year — in the World Cup, and as a voice fighting for the oppressed — she has lauded Kaepernick’s leadership and sacrifice."
Kaepernick’s protests also gave us the "forceful words of Dallas sportscaster Dale Hansen." The left-winger's 2017 tirade went:
"The young, black athletes are not disrespecting America or the military by taking a knee during the anthem. They are respecting the best thing about America. It’s a dog whistle to the racists among us to say otherwise.
"They, and all of us, should protest how black Americans are treated in this country. And if you don’t think white privilege is a fact, you don’t understand America."
Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who became an offensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was pushed by Kaepernick's actions "to reflect on his own service and fighting for the right of other Americans to peacefully protest." Unsaid by Korman was Villanueva having the guts to leave his team's locker room snubbing of the national anthem to go outside and honor America.
Former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman "ripped off his own characteristically scathing and prescient rant about police brutality."
Ex-NFL defensive lineman Chris Long "became an important voice in the wake of the Kaepernick controversy."
So, there you have it. The actions of NFL champions, Olympic Gold medalists, and icons of the tennis and baseball worlds just pale in importance to what the NFL outcast Kaepernick did in the past decade.
The debate is over.