Millions of Americans will go to the polls on November 3 when one of the most fiercely contested election campaigns in recent history comes to an end.
President Donald Trump has been regularly trailing Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in most national polls and wants to avoid becoming the first incumbent in 32 years not to win a second term.
Election day also falls on the birthday of Colin Kaepernick. Some have seen this as a positive omen for Biden, as the former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers was one of Trump’s harshest critics during the incumbent’s first term.
Kaepernick has been a prominent figure in the Black Lives Matter movement since he kneeled to the national anthem at the NFL games four years ago to protest police brutality and racial discrimination.
Happy Birthday, Cape âð¾ pic.twitter.com/dUNtNVDpbP
– The Undefeated (@The Undefeated) November 3, 2020
As is well known, Trump asked the team owners to dismiss players who followed Kaepernick’s example and knelt during the anthem.
“Wouldn’t you like it if one of those NFL owners, when someone doesn’t respect our flag, would say: ‘Get that son of a bitch b**** off the field immediately. Get out! He’s fired. He’s fired'”, said the president during a rally in Alabama in September 2017.
The relevance of Kaepernick’s 33rd birthday, which falls on the same day that Trump’s White House term of office was not lost on Twitter.
You all know what would be the best birthday present for @Kaepernick7, don’t you? #Vote for https://t.co/z12bxhyaTF
– Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) November 3, 2020
The fact that today is @Kaepernick7âs birthday: Send another case of champagne to the writers room.
– Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) November 3, 2020
Today is the birthday of @Kaepernick7, and I think this is a good omen.
– Tony Gervino (@microtony) November 3, 2020
Happy birthday, @Kaepernick7. Forward, dear brother. pic.twitter.com/PGZQZof0gc
– Ava DuVernay (@ava) November 3, 2020
Happy birthday Colin Kaepernick! Let us make this event unforgettable by Trump Out! @Kaepernick7 pic.twitter.com/WcVVQMXu6t select
– Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) November 3, 2020
Kaepernick’s decision to go down on his knees turned him into a global icon, but it split public opinion in the USA and contributed to his being ostracized by the league, where he has been a persona non grata since his appointment as a free player at the end of the 2016 season.
In December last year, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Kaepernick’s league had “moved on” after the former 49er moved a training session that the NFL had organized a month earlier.
Six months later, Goodell took a far more conciliatory tone and encouraged the teams to sign the Nevada alumnus.
Even Trump went so far as to suggest that he let the former 49er return to the league as long as a franchise considered him good enough to play professional football after four years.
The answer is: “The answer is that I would definitely do it,” the president told Washington television station WJLA this summer when asked if he would give Kaepernick the chance to return to the NFL.
“As for kneeling, I would like to see him get another chance. But of course he has to be able to play well. If he can’t play well, I think that would be very unfair.”
In September, Kaepernick angered some of his critics when he called for the abolition of the police force after a grand jury decided not to press charges against the police officers who shot Breonna Taylor while serving a no-knock warrant in March.
“The white racist police institution that stole Breonna Taylor’s life from us must be abolished for the safety and well-being of our people,” he twittered.
Although he openly advocates social justice and racial issues, Kaepernick has not joined the various NFL and NBA players who have actively lobbied to get voters registered before the current election.
Four years ago, the former 49ers quarterback decided against the election, declaring that he considered politics a form of oppression.