8.8.2017

J. Cole Defends Colin Kaepernick Amidst NFL Controversy

J. Cole supports Colin Kaepernick.

During his “4 Your Eyez Only Tour” stop in Baltimore, the rapper met with the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who made headlines by kneeling during the national anthem last year as a protest against police brutality and racial inequality in America.

“Baltimore, the type of shit that’s happening here, don’t you think somebody should risk their whole livelihood and their whole life to talk about this shit even if it cost them they money, they job, they life?” Cole told the B-More crowd on Sunday (Aug. 6). “Don’t that sound like Colin Kaepernick? Don’t that sound like what he doing? And he trying to come to Baltimore, the city that seems to need that shit for real.”

Kaepernick posted a photo of himself and Cole backstage, which offered gratitude. “Great to see my Brother @JColeNC,” he wrote. “I appreciate you not just talking about helping the people, but actually going out and doing the work!”

Kaepernick drew criticism for his choice to kneel during the national anthem. President Donald Trump has said that he should “find a country that works better for him.”

But throughout the controversy, Kaepernick has denounced the notion that he is unpatriotic for his act of silent protest. “Once again, I’m not anti-American,” Kaepernick said last year. “I love America. I love people. That’s why I’m doing this. I want to help make America better. I think having these conversations helps everybody have a better understanding of where everybody is coming from.”

Following the criticism over his kneeling, the former Super Bowl quarterback has found himself without a job. Now, others are taking action to help him get back on the field. Aside from J. Cole’s pleas on stage, Spike Lee is taking part in a “United We Stand” rally for Colin Kaepernick, which is set to take place Wednesday (Aug. 23) in front of NFL headquarters in New York.