SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre is weighing in on the future of Colin Kaepernick, saying he believes the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback will likely reach a "hero status" in football similar to that of former NFL star Pat Tillman.
The Green Bay Packers legend made the comments in an interview with TMZ Sports.
"It's not easy for a guy his age, black or white, Hispanic, whatever, to stop something that you've always dreamed of doing and put it on hold, maybe forever, for something that you believe in," Favre said.
Favre says Kaepernick, who was willing to sacrifice his NFL career to protest racial injustice, is deserving of much "praise and respect."
"I can only think of, right off the top of my head, Pat Tillman's another guy who did something similar, and we regard him as a hero," said Favre. "So I'd assume that hero status will be stamped with Kaepernick as well."
Tillman joined the Army after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The San Jose native famously walked away from a successful NFL football career to serve his country, a decision that immediately turned him into a national symbol of sacrifice. Tillman was killed in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan in 2004.
Kaepernick had 181 rushing yards in his first postseason start in 2013 and led the San Francisco 49ers to their 2013 Super Bowl appearance. But then a wave of controversy was unleashed when he sat down during the national anthem of a 2016 preseason game to take a stand against police brutality and racial injustice. Since then, Kaepernick has become an outspoken advocate for social justice. And along the way he became one of the most admired and most hated people in sports.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement in early June condemning systematic racism and apologizing for "not listening to NFL players earlier" when they tried to address racial injustice. His statement on social media drew comparisons to Kaepernick, with many calling for Goodell to apologize to the former Niners quarterback.