Hank Aaron just hit another home run.
He knows a few things about racial discrimination. During his Hall of Fame career, the baseball legend received death threats from racists, which reached a peak in 1974, when he broke Babe Ruth’s home run record. So, he brings a unique insight to the controversy surrounding NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Aaron told Roland Martin that he’s standing in solidarity with Kaepernick, and believes he’s “getting a raw deal.”
Kaepernick, 29, was a Super Bowl quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers. But he’s unsigned by an NFL team, as the new season approaches. Kaepernick sparked controversy last year when he began protesting police brutality on people of color by choosing to kneel during the national anthem before games.
Aaron said Kaepernick is one of the top quarterbacks, yet NFL owners refuse to give him a chance. He wants Kaepernick to know that he’s with him all the way.
“I’d love to see some other players stand up,” Aaron said. “I would love that, I think it would give him incentive, I think it would help him.”
Indeed, Kaepernick is not alone.
About 1,000 people rallied Wednesday outside NFL headquarters in New York in support of the blackballed quarterback.
Meanwhile, the NAACP joined the chorus of voices. The civil rights organization is seeking a meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss the quarterback’s constitutional rights.
In a letter addressed to the commissioner, the organization said, “No player should be victimized and discriminated against because of his free speech.”