To Brett Favre, an actual combat warrior and a Social Justice Warrior are pretty much the same
Former NFL star Pat Tillman was a patriot, pure and simple.
After the 9/11 attacks, the Arizona Cardinals safety left pro football, and a $3.6 million contract, to join the Army. Tillman’s brother, Kevin, also volunteered, and both became members of the elite Rangers.
Pat Tillman initially served in Iraq, a war he opposed, because he believed it was an engineered, wayward distraction from the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and in 2004 was deployed to Afghanistan. In a tragic case of fratricide in April that year, one of Tillman’s fellow Rangers killed him during a purported ambush on their unit.
Army leaders shamefully covered up the details of Tillman’s death and hijacked his story. His family maintained the military did so to either make him a recruiting tool or to ward off an ebb of public support for the war.
Now, Tillman’s name has been invoked in another shameful exhibition.
On Sunday, TMZ Sports reported on its interview with Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre. During a discussion of anthem-kneeler Colin Kaepernick, Favre linked Kaepernick’s disrespect for the American flag to Tillman’s willingness to fight for the Stars and Stripes.
“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 glowingly of Kaepernick.
“I can only think of right off the top of my head, Pat Tillman is another guy that did something similar,” Favre added. “And, we regard him as a hero. So, I’d assume that hero status will be stamped with Kaepernick as well.”
As TMZ reported, “It’s lofty praise from the former Green Bay Packers superstar … but Favre clearly believes Kaep gave up a legitimate NFL career to make his message heard.”
Sure, there’s a direct corollary between a stand-up guy who walked away from a lucrative football career to serve his country in uniform and under fire to fight America’s enemies — and a kneel-down guy who was ushered out of a back-up quarterback’s job after he disrespected the flag and donned socks showing police officers as pigs, and who has exhibited a fondness for America’s left-wing enemies.
Actual warrior. Social Justice Warrior. Both heroes. Same thing.
Except Tillman’s fans didn’t see it quite that way — and rightfully unloaded on Favre on social media.
On Monday, Favre tried to clarify his remarks.
“Including Pat Tillman’s name in the interview on Colin Kaepernick was not a comparison of the two, but a recognition that they both sidelined their football dreams in pursuit of a cause,” Favre tweeted. “Pat tragically lost his life, making the ultimate sacrifice, and deserves the highest honor.”
Favre’s attempted recovery of his verbal fumble only generated another blitz from Tillman backers.
Again, Tillman voluntarily gave up his football career, joined one of America’s most heralded war-fighting commando units and died while fighting for his country after a fellow soldier’s horrific lapse of judgment.
Kaepernick, on the other hand, gave up pro football after he was no longer considered good enough to compete on the NFL’s front lines, and became a very wealthy corporate frontman through a willingness to condemn the institutions of the nation that handsomely rewarded him solely for his athletic prowess.
Favre holds three of the NFL’s most dubious records: most career fumbles, most career interceptions and most times sacked in a career.
That’s fitting, because his massive blunder of a talking point about Tillman and Kaepernick is also one for the record books.
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