Colin Kaepernick will be remembered for years and years, and will be known for much more than his time as the 49ers' quarterback. Takeo Spikes was Kaepernick's teammate on the 49ers for two seasons, 2011 and 2012, and believes the QB should be remembered with a statue -- but at somewhere that holds much more weight than Levi's Stadium.
"I think Colin Kaepernick, Monte I truly believe that he deserves some type of monument, a statue in the Smithsonian in D.C," Spikes said to NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole on the Jan. 29, 2021 airing of "Race in America: A Candid Conversation." "The reason why I say this is because this man put everything on the line. ... You hear the term 'You can become a slave to the money.' But Colin, could have easily done that. But I applaud him simply because he decided to take a stand. He decided to draw a line in the sand and say look, 'I can make the money, I can live a carefree life for the most part and get paid handsomely and never say a thing because I'm not affected.' But he took time to look back and really just see the big picture, the spectrum when we talk about the inequalities.
"He decided to not only call it out, but take a stand for it."
Kaepernick, who spent six seasons as a quarterback for the 49ers, began first sitting and then kneeling during the national anthem in the 2016 preseason after meeting with former Green Beret Nate Boyer. He was doing so as a peaceful protest to police brutality as well as racial and social inequalities in the United States.
Since doing so throughout the 2016 season, Kaepernick has not played a single down or been signed be a NFL team. Newly hired general manager John Lynch told Kaepernick he would have been cut if he didn't opt out of his contract in March 2017.
Josina Anderson joined Matt Maiocco on the latest episode of the 49ers Talk podcast and discussed the differences of how Kaepernick is viewed now as opposed to when he first began his protest in 2016.
"I think there's more appreciation now with the sacrifice that he made in terms of raising his voice and the backlash that he absorbed as a result to that, and obviously losing his career in terms of not being able to come back to the National Football League, though I do believe he's doing well-off financially -- not that that takes away from what he aspired to in finishing his career, but it certainly makes the pillow a lot softer," Anderson said. "With regards to how I think things are looked at now compared to then, I would say that in a world that is post-George Floyd, I think that nationally there was a bigger awakening in terms of the differences in experiences that people of color go through when dealing with police or criminal situations or just anything that's being investigated of that sort.
"What I mean by that is people have a better understanding of prejudice and bias and how that affects sometimes how people of color are treated when in these situations to the point of obviously the loss of life in ways that seem more brazen now in the era that we just came off of politically, even in comparison to when we were under the Obama administration. ... I think that kind of post-George Floyd and what we just came off of politically, it really peeled back the layers of the underbelly of racism that's still out there and it illuminated the things, even more so, that he was trying to bring light to.
"I think that there's more of an appreciation, more of an acceptance and I think the athlete feel more comfortable to voice their ire towards the situation."
Kaepernick finished the 2016 season with 16 passing touchdowns, four interceptions and two rushing TDs in 11 starts. He completed 17 of 22 pass attempts for 215 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in the last game he played in the NFL.