It is obvious that Brett Favre meant well when he compared Colin Kaepernick to Pat Tillman and may even genuinely thought he was paying Kaepermick a compliment.
Favre was asked if Kaepernick compares to sports figures like Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali but the hall of fame quarterback said that Pat Tillman is the only one he could think of that Kaepernick compares to.
“It’s not easy for a guy his age, black or white, Hispanic, whatever, to stop something that you’ve always dreamed of doing and put it on hold–maybe forever–for something that you believe in,” Favre said. “I can only think of–right off the top of my head–Pat Tillman’s another guy who did something similar, and we regard him as a hero. So I’d assume that hero status will be stamped with Kaepernick as well.”
While both Kaepernick and Tillman are heroes, they are in completely different categories of heroism. Kaepernick is a hero of peace. Tillman is a hero of war.
Kaepernick put a lucrative football career on the line to peacefully protest and bring attention to the unjust killing of Black Americans at the hands of the police. Tillman put a lucrative football career on hold so he could kill those who he thought were responsible for the killing of Americans in the 9-11 attack. One saw war as the answer as to stand up for what he believed in while the other saw the answer in peaceful protesting.
Some people choose to conveniently forget that Colin Kaepernick had other options he could have used to fight police brutality. He could have used his vast financial resources to arm Black and Brown men to stand up and fight an unjust system but he chose peace.
Tillman could have also chosen peace. He could have used his platform to inform others about the hurt and pain that war brings but he chose instead to go and fight.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a hero and so was Nat Turner, however, they are not in the same category.
So yes, Colin Kaepernick is a hero. Yes, Pat Tillman is a hero. Just don’t compare the two and don’t lump them together.