Chronic Controversy

Story by Milan Magnusson, Staff Writer

Controversy, it can be the element for an interesting story that can captivate audiences throughout. It can completely change the perception of an issue to the public. A cloud of the aftermath that could hover over the heads of those who were indicted for having a role in a controversy, for a long time.


Take the Colin Kaepernick situation as an example. During the 49ers’ final 2016 preseason game on September 1, 2016, Colin Kaepernick kneeled as a way to raise awareness on racism and police brutality. 


These actions sparked quite a conversation on the “right” way to protest. Players such as Drew Brees,voiced criticism of how the protests were done.


Brees told ESPN that he disagreed, stating, “I disagree. I wholeheartedly disagree. Not that he wants to speak out about a very important issue. No, he can speak out about a very important issue. But there’s plenty of other ways that you can do that in a peaceful manner that doesn’t involve being disrespectful to the American flag.” 


Colin Kapernick would respond to the criticism that came from certain fans and players.


Kaepernick told the New York Times, “Once again, I’m not anti-American.I love America. I love people. That’s why I’m doing this. I want to help make America better.” In fact when deciding to protest, Kaepernick met with a military veteran to figure out a way to protest and still be respectful.


This being voiced to the public eye through news networks such as ESPN and NBC, opened a discussion about issues such as racism and police brutality in the community.


However, since January 1st, 2017, Colin Kaepernick has not played in an NFL game. With allegations that he was “blackballed” by the NFL. 


This only added fuel to the fire to what would be seen to the public. 


As an audio recording that was obtained by The New York Times revealed that many players were upset that Kaepernick still had not been picked up by any team


Even, with the former NFL quarterback not having a job with the NFL more than a year, Nike HiredKaepernick which resulted in a new, multiyear deal that made him a face of the 30th anniversary of the sports apparel company’s “Just Do It” campaign


Ever since this investment by Nike, their value has only increased and Kaepernick’s advertisement “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything” won an emmy for “most outstanding commercial.”


This is the definition of an incredible investment that paid dividends based on the rush that came from controversy that is engaged people on an emotional and maybe even physical level .


We have seen stories like this before, which have mostly come to spark further interest in a particular team or sport, invoking an emotion such as outrage or excitement. An identity and livelihood completely changing because of a controversy that is shown to the public, and a benefactor that uses a controversy such as Colin’s as a way to benefit monetarily. Nonetheless, the talking points that result from controversy can change the way the community views an issue.This situation with Kaepernick is only a small milestone to the many issues that need to be addressed in the community today.

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