Packers legend Brett Favre took to Twitter on Monday to attempt to clarify comments he made comparing former NFL player and war hero Pat Tillman, to Colin Kaepernick.
In an interview with TMZ, Favre made headlines by saying that like Pat Tillman – who is revered as a hero for walking away from a lucrative NFL career and making the ultimate sacrifice in for his country in Afghanistan. Kaepernick will also be conferred “hero” status for sacrificing his NFL career.
“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 of Kaepernick.
“I can only think of right off the top of my head, Pat Tillman is another guy that did something similar,” Favre said. “And, we regard him as a hero. So, I’d assume that hero status will be stamped with Kaepernick as well.”
On Monday, Favre attempted to clarify those comments.
Including Pat Tillman’s name in the interview on Colin Kaepernick was not a comparison of the two, but a recognition that they both sidelined their football dreams in pursuit of a cause. Pat tragically lost his life, making the ultimate sacrifice, and deserves the highest honor.
— Brett Favre (@BrettFavre) June 22, 2020
While Favre deserves some credit for recognizing the extreme error of his statement, there are still problems with his attempt at clarification.
Chiefly, the fact that Colin Kaepernick did not knowingly turn his back on the NFL when he walked away from the 49ers at the end of the 2016 season. In fact, his agents continued to work aggressively to land him a new deal. Moreover, when offered deals to play in new football leagues like the XFL, Kaepernick didn’t turn those deals down because he was so busy with his social justice activism. He turned them down because he was asking for so much money that the league couldn’t afford him.
Tillman, meanwhile, absolutely knew he was not only walking away from the NFL, but also walking away from a multi-million dollar offer from the Rams. Plus, obviously, he knew he was walking away from the NFL and taking an enormous gamble with his life.
Then, there’s the obvious fact that Favre did indeed compare Kaepernick and Tillman in his initial statement and, you could argue, even compared them again in his clarification tweet. However, at least he seems to have recognized that comparing the two was a dumb thing to do.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn