Black Athletes: Sports And Non-Sports Impacts

Darren Shamburger, Contributor

There are many black athletes who have had a positive impact outside of sports.

This is a trend that usually isn’t mentioned in the media because of the negativity that surrounds black athletes. This list includes athletes such as Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid, and Jim Brown.

One of the biggest names on this list is, possibly, Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick was an NFL Quarterback who played for the San Francisco 49ers. He led them to two straight NFC Championships, and one Super Bowl appearance.

I’m 2017, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers and became a free agent for the first time in his career.

“General Manager John Lynch stated that the team would have let Colin go if he didn’t opt out of his contract,” according to Nick Wagoner.

Kaepernick took a knee to take a stand for African Americans being wrongfully attacked by white police and the police not being charged. He risked his career and popularity, to inform the NFL that he will not stand for the National Anthem.

Tamir Rice and Michael Brown are some names that you hear most often about this terrible and unjust subject in which aided in his decision to not stand for the anthem.

Kaepernick has been blacklisted from the NFL. He is better than some starting quarterbacks in the NFL but they will not give him a chance because he stood up for what he believed in like most black activists. And a majority of the NFL owners feel that his presence could bring a negative impact to their teams.

Another Kaepernick supporter, who got released from the 49ers, is Safety Eric Reid. Reid had 327 total tackles, 2 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, and 10 interceptions in his 5 years with the 49ers.

“The Carolina Panthers signed Pro-Bowl free agent safety Eric Reid amid grievance against NFL,” according to David Newton, ESPN Writer.

Reid was one of the biggest supporters and took a knee right beside Colin. He knew exactly what he was kneeling for and kept on. Eventually, he lost his job with the 49ers around the same time as Kaepernick.

Eric has a good first season with the Panthers, starting in 13 games, collecting 71 combined tackles, one sack, and one interception. Reid has lived up to expectations and is still living on with the message that Colin implemented into the league. Both athletes continue to make an impact outside of sports.

Another name that comes to mind is Hall of Fame running back, Jim Brown.

Brown played for the Cleveland Browns, and had a career total of 12,312 rushing yards, 2,499 receiving yards, and 126 total touchdowns over his 9 year span in the NFL.

After retirement, Brown was winning major film roles and making a great deal of money.

He founded the Black Economic Union as early as his playing days. Even though the BEU collapsed, the idea was lived on with the Coors Golden Door Program and Jobs Plus.

Brown founded another program that taught managerial skills and mental skills to inmates and inner-city gang members. This program eventually grew into another one called Amer-I-Can.

Ameri-I-Can eventually won over a million dollars in grant money to fund their different locations in San Francisco and Cleveland.

Brown did not want to be seen as an athlete who just blows his money, he wanted to help his community and he did just that.

Many black athletes have done important things for their communities and were able to affect others because of it. Whether you take a knee or found programs that help people, just remember why you are doing it and don’t lose sight of it.