Essay: Colin Kaepernick (speech writing example)

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  • Colin Kaepernick (speech writing example)
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General Purpose: The general purpose of this speech is to inform the audience about a specific person and give tribute to them.

Specific Purpose: At the end of my speech, the audience will have a better understanding of Colin Kaepernick and how he has become so controversial in today’s society.


I. Attention Getter: Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith and John Carlos. All of these athletes risked their careers in order to stand up for a caused that they believed in.

II. Motivation for Listening: These famous celebrities and athletes use their platform to bring attention to social issues they care for. Since these celebrities and athletes have so many fans and access to media, they can reach out to many people to bring more light to a particular issue or cause that is occurring in society.

III. Thesis Statement: Colin Kaepernick has been one of the modern athletes that put aside his career to stand up to a cause that he believes in. Protesting the National Anthem brings light and stirs up a conversation of police brutality and social and racial injustice.

IV. Preview of Speech (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.): Between beginning protests during the national anthem, the grievance he filed against the NFL and the recent Nike campaign, Colin Kaepernick in my opinion, has been put almost everything on the line to stand up for what he believes in.


Transition: First, there was the kneeling during the National Anthem before the games.

I. First Main Point – Kneeling during National Anthem

While there was no official beginning to Kaepernick protest, the most notable instance was during the Packers vs. 49ers game on August 26, 2016, according to ESPN. Kaepernick was seen sitting during the National Anthem in response to protest police brutality and racial inequality, like the deaths of Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling, and Philando Castile. A couple of days after the interview, Kaepernick addresses the media stating “I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me, this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change and I feel that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.” (Capehart, 2017).
The protests have grown into one of the most polarizing issues in sports, with President Donald Trump loudly urging the league to suspend or fire players who demonstrate during the anthem.

Transition: Following the massive publicity due to the kneeling during the National Anthem, this led to Kaepernick filing a grievance with the NFL.

II. Second Main Point – Grievance against NFL

Due to the massive publicity caused by the media, it became a widely known event. Multiple athletes followed Kaepernick’s lead, either by sitting, kneeling, linking arms together, or raising their fist in the air during the National Anthem. The publicity had become so big, that President Donald Trump publicly announced that the league should suspend or fire any players who partake in the protest during the National Anthem, as per Months later, Kaepernick opted out of the 49ers contract, becoming a free agent (ESPN 2017). Fast forward to today, and Kaepernick is still a free agent. Many say that it might be due to performance while some members of the NFL fear signing him as it might negatively impact the way they’re viewed by their fans. In October 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance against NFL owners for collusion, which basically means to secretly or illegally cooperate together to deprive or cheat someone, or a conspiracy. According to, “the filing stated that the NFL and its owners ‘have colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick’s leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice and his bringing awareness to peculiar institutions still undermining racial equality in the United States.’” Almost three weeks ago, an arbitrator denied the NFL’s request to dismiss Kaepernick’s grievance. The arbitrator believed that Kaepernick did indeed present sufficient evidence to support this claim. Consequently, many owners and coaches from the NFL will be called to testify during the 2018 season.

Transition: Finally, the most recent events surrounding Kaepernick was the launch of the Nike 30th anniversary campaign.

III. Third Main Point – Nike Ad

According to, for their 30th anniversary, Nike announced that Kaepernick as the face of their “Just Do It” campaign. The ad depicts a black and white close-up photograph of Kaepernick’s face with the phrase “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Almost instantly, Nike received massive backlash for the feature. People went on to social media, especially Twitter, using hashtags like #BoycottNike and depicting them cutting of the logo out of their Nike Gear or even burning their items in protest.


I. Summary of Main Points: With that being said, I truly believe that between beginning protests during the national anthem, the grievance he filed against the NFL and the recent Nike campaign, Colin Kaepernick has been put almost everything on the line to stand up for what he believes in

II. Throwback to Attention Getter: When we look back in history, we will see Colin Kaepernick just as brave and determined as Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali.

Works Cited

  • “Colin Kaepernick.”, A&E Networks Television, 4 Sept. 2018,
  • “Packers vs. 49ers – Game Summary – August 26, 2016.” ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures,
  • Rickards, P.J. “Watch: 3 Athletes Who Risked It All Before Colin Kaepernick.” The Root,, 2 Nov. 2017,
  • “Opinion | Taking a Knee with Colin Kaepernick and Standing with Stephen Curry against Trump.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 24 Sept. 2017,
  • Sandritter, Mark. “All the Athletes Who Joined Kaepernick’s National Anthem Protest.”,, 25 Sept. 2017,

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