Fans Call Out Hypocrisy In Reaction To Colin Kaepernick Vs. Harrison Butker

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NFL fans are calling out the double standard in the league's reaction to Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker's and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's forms of self-expression, per NPR.

Butker garnered national attention earlier this month for controversial remarks he made as the commencement speaker for a graduation ceremony at Benedictine College. During the commencement address, Butker condemned abortion rights, Pride Month, and DEI, and encouraged female graduations to embrace the "vocation" of homemaker.

Amid widespread backlash, the NFL distanced itself from Butker's comments, saying the kicker made the remarks "in his personal capacity" and his views don't align with the league.

“The NFL is steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger,” the NFL's statement read in part.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement: “We have over 3,000 players. We have executives around the league that have a diversity of opinions and thoughts just like America does. I think that’s something that we treasure, and that’s part of, I think, ultimately what makes us as a society better.”

Several social media users were quick to call out the hypocrisy in Goodell's reaction to Butker's remarks following his handling of Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 in protest of “the injustices that are happening in America.”

Goodell critiqued Kaepernick's form of protest in his first public comments.

“I think it's important if they see things they want to change in society, and clearly we have things that can get better in society, and we should get better,” Goodell said at the time. “But we have to choose respectful ways of doing that so that we can achieve the outcomes we ultimately want and do it with the values and ideals that make our country great."

As more players joined the movement the following year, Goodell told NFL teams that “everyone should stand” during the national anthem.

“The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues,” the commissioner wrote in a memo. “We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players."

Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers in 2017 but hasn't been signed to an NFL team since. Many believe that owners iced the former QB out of the league due to his political views.

In the summer of 2020, Goodell released a statement amid the nation's racial reckoning, admitting that the league had previously fallen short of tackling racism and listening to players.

“We, the National Football League admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest,” Goodell said.

Several social media users pointed out the large disparity in Goodell's reaction to Kaepernick's and Butker's situations. See their reactions below.

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