There are many types of heroes, and they come from all walks of life. One of the people who has long been a hero to me is Chris Borland.

Borland’s story is well-known. He retired at the end of the 2014 season at the age of 24 because of concerns over the long-term effects of football on the brain. He was one of the best young linebackers in the NFL after a college career as an All-American and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year at the University of Wisconsin.

Retiring in his prime was a brave thing to do for a player whose life was dedicated to football. But he has rededicated himself to being an advocate for mental health since leaving the NFL. According to his bio on Athletes for Care, He has partnered with The Concussion Legacy Foundation, Gridiron Greats, and worked with The Carter Center. Borland is founder and CEO of T Mindful, a company aimed at integrating meditation into athletics. 

Chris Borland made something clear in his interview: He supported Kaepernick and Reid and still does.

I support [Kaepernick] because he was always protesting systemic racism and police brutality, Borland said. That’s all he was protesting. I always admired him and Eric for what they did. They were truly brave men, and they are now.

I’d add that a player of Colin’s caliber not playing is wrong. For the people who say what he’s doing is un-American, he spends so much of his time helping kids—helping a lot of people—get better lives. There’s nothing more American than that.

A veteran player thinks he knows why the NFL is so afraid of Colin Kaepernick. A team executive thinks Saquon Barkley is still going first. The New York press thinks the Giants might skip taking a quarterback with the No. 2 pick. All these theories and more in this week’s 10-Point Stance. 

You may have missed the latest news regarding one of the league’s most discussed players, but the news is important because it raises a question: Why is the NFL still so scared of Colin Kaepernick?

Is it because he’s radioactive to a team’s brand? If so, why did the North American head of Adidas say he wants to sign Kaepernick if he returns to the NFL? Is Adidas in the habit of signing athletes who won’t help them sell product?

Is it because of the looming collusion case? Maybe. But also…if a team signed Kaepernick, the collusion case might end.

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