Colin Kaepernick Was Named 'Most Courageous'...By His Teammates (YES!)

Colin Kaepernick Was Named 'Most Courageous'...By His Teammates (YES!)

Unless you’re a diehard football fan, there’s a huge chance that you had no idea who Colin Kaepernick was until last year. So before getting into why he’s become one of our cultural heroes, a few stats.

Colin is a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. He’s biracial (black father and white mother). He’s adopted (raised by white parents). He’s been playing football since he was 8, held a 4.0 in high school, is Christian and was on the 49ers team when they won the Super Bowl in 2014 (he also won the Most Valuable Player at the Humanitarian Bowl in 2008).

All in all, impressive. But outside of sports, Colin didn’t start to become a household name until 2016 when he started a quiet---yet pretty obvious---protest by refusing to stand during the national anthem. Instead, he kneeled. Why? According to him, it was in response to the racial oppression and police brutality going on in the country.

Dig a little deeper and the history behind the national anthem itself comes with its own controversy (click here to read more), and if you read online at all, you know that Colin had a rough few weeks. One vendor even sold "Wanted: Notorious Disgrace to America" with a picture of Colin’s face on it and many people across the nation wanted him to be fired.

Still he kneeled and it wasn’t long before other players---in the NFL and even college and high school teams----took his lead (strength in numbers, indeed). And while Colin would probably be the first one to say that his “stance to kneel” wasn’t easy, his teammates took note and in December, they honored him with the Len Eshmont Award for inspiration and courage.

Colin is still super-active in his community. He recently made headlines by donating his massive shoe collection to Bay Area homeless shelters. He also donated $50,000 to the University of California San Francisco’s Mni Wiconi Health Clinic Partnership at Standing Rock, in North Dakota.

Sometimes people cross our paths---whether in person or online---to inspire us to do more. To be better. And courage? In order to accomplish great things in life, courage is necessary. If you, like Colin, want to do bigger things for the better, here’s how you can do it.

1. Take Risks

Why don’t we take more risks in life? Because we’re scared. But the saying that most of what you’re worried about won’t ever happen to you is true. Whether you want to become an activist, a philanthropist and entrepreneur or simply try something new, it’s going to be risky. Guess what else it’s gonna be? WORTH IT. How do we know? Because when something is dying to get out of you, usually that’s a sign that it’s time to take a new journey in life. And when you’re willing to follow a new path? All sorts of exciting things are awaiting you. Trust us on that.

2. Don’t Compromise Your Integrity

No matter what someone’s personal views may be on the things that Colin stood up for, if they’re really honest with themselves, they have to admire his sense of integrity. It’s easy to do what everyone likes or expects of you. What’s hard is when you make the decision to stand up for what you believe in, no matter what opposition comes your way. A person with integrity is a person of character. A courageous person has both.

3. Push Through Your Fears

Say that you’re terrified of heights. Avoiding tall buildings for the rest of your life is not going to help you to conquer that fear. Or maybe you’re scared of water. Are you really not going to enjoy the feel of ocean? EVER?! The best way to get past a fear is to go through it. By that we mean, face that thing head on. Maybe take a skydiving class or some swimming lessons. Once you’re willing to tell your fear “I might be scared right now, but I’m not gonna run from you”, you’ll be shocked by how quickly it disappears all on its own.

4. Take Care Of Your Health And Well-Being

When you make a decision---and commitment---to live a courageous life, you’re going to have to be in top form. Get plenty of rest. Eat right. Meditate or pray. Exercise. Watch the people who influence you (there’s no room for negativity in your intimate space). Journal. Pamper yourself. Love on yourself. The more you take care of you and your needs, the more emotionally stable you’ll become. And that makes it possible for you to take on just about anything.

5. Know Your “Why”

This is a big one. Sometimes people think they’re being courageous when really they’re just addicted to attention. If you’re not doing, whatever it is that you’re doing, because you believe that it’s the right thing to do, your motives are not in the best place. We wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Colin has a personal mission statement somewhere in his house or smartphone; something to remind him of his “why”. We encourage you to have one as well. Knowing your reasons will keep you centered in the good times, focused in the bad. Here’s to becoming the most courageous person you know!

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