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A Tale of Two QBs

As clear as black and white.

By Blake A SwanPublished 3 years ago 7 min read
A Tale of Two QBs
Photo by Gene Gallin on Unsplash

This is a discussion about two quarterbacks from Green Bay and their treatment compared to that of Colin Kaepernick. To understand this perspective, you should know where I'm coming from.

The moment I discovered racial inequalities of punishment was in the 8th grade. I was almost suspended for throwing a dodgeball in gym class and my cousin for protecting another student. At first, I didn’t want to believe it. While I knew of the racial inequality and injustices, I believed we were in an evolved environment. A school for the gifted was the last place I believed would be susceptible to racial inequality, but I remind you I was also 12. 

I didn’t want to put two and two together.

See, I threw a dodgeball at another student in gym class. They had made a racist remark to me and I gave them a warning shot. Didn’t hit them, just threw it in their direction.

When she followed up with another remark… I rocketed the ball right next to her face.

Another teacher, not the PE teacher, was waiting to take us to the next class. She rushed at me and demanded that I apologize. I refused to apologize without an apology. I wanted the teacher to hear what she had said to me. The other student spent the rest of the day pale as a ghost, but was a pet protected by this her teacher.

By Michelle Tresemer on Unsplash

I would be held out of class for the rest of the day and threatened with suspension for “throwing a dodgeball in gym class.” When my mother pointed this out to the principal, they became beet red. They had no answers for their reaction. No reason to suspend me for “being disruptive/uncooperative.” It ended with the student apologizing to me, but without ever having to acknowledge what she said to me.

Years later

I would learn that the teacher in question had an uncomfortable relationship with the student who offended me. She would walk alone with the student holding her hand. My mother, who spent her life as a social worker, was alarmed and let that be known. Again, as I child I never thought twice about it. Never worried about others perceptions. Couldn't imagine being perceived as an adult because of my race. I was only 12. Then, my cousin got in trouble.


My cousin Ed was a little younger than me, but already 6 feet tall. A gentle giant and high-level competitor in geography bees. It’s like spelling bees, but instead of spelling, you have to know everything about every nation in the world. He never liked sports, despite size for them.

One day, the most violent kid in our school tried to attack a 3rd grader. This student, Mike, was always hitting or trying to hit other students. Faculty would just watch. Eventually negotiating with him. Mike never got in trouble. This day Mike, attacked the younger sibling of our classmate.

The only person to say something and do something as Mike stood over the student was Ed. Before attempting to pummel smaller student, Ed shoved the 8th grader away from the 3rd grader because “he couldn’t let him hit him.”

Initially, they wanted to suspend Ed and let Mike go free. Until other parents got involved. Especially the child who was being attacked as faculty watched. They defended my cousin and insisted Mike get suspended and in the end, that’s what happened.

When I came back from visiting potential high schools, I saw Mike in his own room for classes. People were telling me that Ed was a hero. I heard the full story from my classmate, the older brother of the kid that got attacked. Reality finally hit me. Not just that black people, including kids, are treated differently. It was that even in a “school for the gifted” surrounded by “progressive” thinkers, it was a factor in their decisions.

Which brings us to the day.

Aaron Rodgers and Colin Kaepernick. How they are perceived in two separate lenses despite the severity of their actions. 

For those unfamiliar with sports, you may have heard of the situation briefly. Kaepernick was kicked out of the league for taking a knee and Rodgers wasn’t honest about his vaccination status. Let me give you all the ammo you need in your tool belt.

Colin Kaepernick's talent was never in question prior to this event. Even as the team eroded around him rapidly. Once he made a statement his "talent" became the excuse. Just for clarity, here are some of the quarterbacks who were signed at the time:

Nathan Peterman (5 INTs first Half)

Scott Tolzien: 2 Pick Six on first throws as a starter.

Jay Cutler: Amongst Other Dolphins QBs considered.

Blake Bortles: Most Turnovers, INTs and overall play so poor at the end it made you wonder how he ever played.

How did we get here?

Upon asking a veteran for his advice on what would be appropriate, that veteran told him he believed kneeling was appropriate.

I reiterate this point on Veterans Day 2021. Kaepernick asked a veteran their opinion on what he should do to show respect.

When he did it, it was not against NFL rules or policies. He’s not even the first athlete in the NFL that did not stand for the national anthem. A practice that, until a few years ago, was an active ad campaign for the US Military. Not out of patriotism, but for millions of taxpayers dollars

By Blogging Guide on Unsplash

After several games, someone finally noticed and asked him about it. Only then did it become a nationwide story. What was his crime? He used his platform to make a statement in the most respectful way he could based upon the advice from a veteran of military service. An action that went unnoticed.

When it was finally noticed, he was kicked out of the league.

They colluded to keep him out of the league, which led to him settling a multi-million dollar lawsuit. It also prevented their communications from being disclosed to the public. Which is good for the NFL because they are probably way worse than the Gruden emails.

Today, the NFL and other leagues don’t waste any opportunity to stand for social justice. The tides have changed and the demographics are becoming younger. Just like the military involvement, the NFL uses the movement for publicity from the league and ownership perspective. The most inauthentic of all sports campaigns.

The reason we bring up Kaepernick revolves around the pure hatred and vitriol he received for a peaceful protest that didn’t violate league policy. Colin Kaepernick didn’t break any laws with his actions, unlike the last two quarterbacks for the Green Bay Packers. 

Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers

Brett Favre

For those who don’t keep up with sports, Brett Favre is a Hall of Fame Quarterback primarily known for his time spent with the Packers. Aaron Rodgers was just a guy holding a clipboard while Favre was there. In many circles, Favre is still revered as a great NFL athlete and a hero. Although he broke the law as a player and after his playing career.

In the era just before the “Me Too” movement, Brett Favre sent out unsolicited images of his penis to a New York Jets sidelines reporter. While he played for the team. An action that many states have made illegal.

However, if you would like to defend that disturbing behavior, how about we move on to his most recent transgression?

Brett Favre took a million dollars from a welfare fund for speeches that he did not give. He stole from Welfare. He broke the law and could face criminal charges if he didn’t pay it back in time. Still, he remains a more beloved figure in some circles.

At last, Aaron Rodgers.

Known for his notorious attitude and ability to rub people the wrong way. He’s a jerk, but he’s extremely talented. I get that part and didn’t have a problem with it until he started endangering others. See, Rodgers decided not to get vaccinated. Not only he decide not to do it, but then he lied about it.

Using language like “immunized”, he deliberately misled everyone involved. Allowing him to break protocols established for unvaccinated players. I repeat, there are protocols for players that are not vaccinated. Considerations for everyone’s health and safety were made. Rodgers didn’t care about that. He wanted to do things his way. Couldn’t be bothered by other people's safety. Wanted to live one way but not suffer the consequences.

Let’s be clear about the implications. With no PPE or distancing, at any moment Rodgers could create many incidents across the country. He plays in major cities. Think about how many people are involved in him.

People in the room. Other people using and sharing the mic.

Opposing coaching staffs post game, equipment managers, press, team owners, a random fans should he jump in the crowd, and the game day announces for the broadcast and everyone they interact with. 

What he did not only violated NFL policy, it violated the law.

Many stadiums and cities have mandates for those who are unvaccinated. Kyrie Irving can't attend a team function because it's against the law. Aaron Rodgers bypassed all the rules just because he wanted to. An insult to the players who had the guts to express their misguided views and deal with the consequences.

An insult to the players on the team vying for a job for next year or a championship this year. Surely, he will be punished. As of today, Rodgers was suspended for one game and fined. Probably resume playing football after only missing one game. A far cry from the non-life threatening, non-criminal act Kaepernick took.

The moral of the story is that we have two very different reactions NFL Quarterbacks who could play despite active behavior. Two QBs from the same franchise have missed one game and were defended for their combined. To recap the outrage: One sent unsolicited dick picks and stole a $1million from welfare, One lied about vaccination and put co-workers’ careers and lives in jeopardy, and one didn’t even break company policy. Yet that one that didn’t break any policy that gets punished by and banned from the league.


About the Creator

Blake A Swan

NCSA Strength and Conditioning Professional certified as a CSCS, TSAC-F, and CPT. I have my FMS Certification as well, and spent over a decade working with athletes in various sports. Including youth, high school, college, Olympic and Pro.

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    Blake A SwanWritten by Blake A Swan

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