Giants Legend Tiki Barber Talks Changing His Mind on Colin Kaepernick's Protests

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2021

Former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009, before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on legal issues relating to football head injuries. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Charles Dharapak/Associated Press

Former New York Giants star Tiki Barber has changed his position on Colin Kaepernick's decision to protest during the national anthem prior to games in 2016. 

Speaking to John Montone of Radio.com, Barber explained how he came to regret his initial comments. 

"I commended him for his protests, but I thought he was going about it the wrong way," he said. "But over time, history tends to correct things that are viewed the wrong way. I think a few months into it I realized my reaction was going to be on the wrong side of history."

In November 2019, when the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback's scheduled workout with NFL teams fell apart at the last minute, Barber called Kaepernick "entitled" and "unlikable" on his CBS Sports Radio show for not following through with the workout set up by the NFL as planned:

"It's almost like he wants special treatment, and that bothers me. There's so many players who, if everything went perfectly right in their existence, would never get this opportunity to have a full open workout with scouts . . . and here's my chance to make it. Nobody gets that. Colin got it, and he acted like he didn't appreciate it. It's off-putting."

Barber told Montone that his stance changed "when the racial injustice that was happening in this country became a lot more than a one-day story, that's what made you realize, 'You know, Kaep is right.'"

Kaepernick has been out of the NFL since March 2017 when he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers. He has been advocating for social justice reform and working to combat systemic racism since the 2016 season when he began protesting during the national anthem.