Saquon Barkley is one of the few big time athletes in New York that can say they avoided controversies as he did throughout his rookie campaign.
As he enters his second season in the NFL and taking on a larger locker room leadership role, he’s become a little bit more vocal.
Over the course of the past few weeks, the New York Giants runnning back has retweeted several posts from former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick as well as tweets criticizing President Donald Trump for perceived racist rhetoric.
If he happens to lose fans because of these topics, he simply does not care.
“I’m not afraid to speak my mind,” Barkley told the New York Daily News. “If a fan wants to not be a fan of me because I retweet a thing for Colin Kaepernick, I don’t care. But I respect that people have their own opinions. Everyone is entitled to that. I just would hope that people respect I have a right to my own opinion, as well.”
Barkley was one of many who retweeted a video that claimed the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is “still ready” to make a comeback and is being “denied work.”
Barkley says Kaepernick is not playing in the league because he lacks the talent, but because he chose to stand up for his beliefs by kneeling down during the national anthem in 2016.
“I think you just answered the question yourself,” Barkley says. “He’s not in the league not ’cause he can’t play. I mean, is that fair to him? Because of his belief or what he views?”
“I mean Kaepernick’s a household name, everybody knows about him, for whatever reason you know him for, and to catch a pass from him [in the charity game] I thought was pretty cool,” Barkley said. “And even though he’s not in the NFL anymore, and like you said with retweeting the videos of him working out, I mean that’s just like I think it’s cool he’s still working out and still waiting for his opportunity for a shot and when the shot comes, he’s showing he’s still gonna be ready for it. And as a man, I respect that.”
Whether you like his stance or not, Barkley is showing he is willing to put in the research, all while understanding the topic and discussing it with anybody who doesn’t agree with him.