On Friday night’s episode of The Shop, host LeBron James praised former NFL player Colin Kaepernick for his “sacrifice” in continuing his protests despite having his sport “taken away from him.”
The Los Angeles Lakers star power forward said that Kaepernick “gave up everything” after his “collusion” case was settled out of court for anywhere between $30 and $80 million (the actual number was not disclosed).
“Kap’s still for something that was bigger than him. He sacrificed,” James said during the episode. “How many people can wake up and say, you know what? I’ll give everything that I’ve worked for my whole life for the better of the conversation. Oh, I’m gonna lose everything I got personally for the better of the conversation. That’s why we can sit here and salute Kap.”
“And I hope that whatever the amount of money he got sets him up for him, his kids, his grandkids, and his grandkids’ kids’ kids. I hope it’s that much money, I really do,” James concluded. “Because the beautiful sport was taken away from him. So, I hope that whatever the settlement was, it sets generations up forever.”
But not everyone agrees with James that Kaepernick “sacrificed” anything.
Former Kansas City Chiefs player Larry Johnson slammed Kaepernick for “taking money from an oppressor,” and for singing a confidentiality agreement with the league that prevents him from talking about the whole incident.
Johnson called Kaepernick a “sell out” for taking the money and signing the hush agreement.
“If your backdrop is going to be the African American civil rights presence that it brought from the ’60s and you’re going to use that for your own causes, you don’t sell out,” Johnson said.
As far as Johnson is concerned, Kaepernick took the money and abandoned the cause.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.