Brett Favre believes Colin Kaepernick will reach "hero status", comparing the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback to Pat Tillman.
Kaepernick has been out of the NFL since the end of the 2016 season, during which the quarterback attracted controversy by kneeling for the United States national anthem in protest against racial injustice and police brutality.
He filed a grievance against the NFL in 2017, accusing owners of colluding to keep him out of a job. Kaepernick settled that grievance in February.
The 32-year-old, who was involved in an NFL workout in November last year, and his message have received renewed attention amid nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25.
NFL Hall of Famer and Super Bowl champion Favre feels Kaepernick will be held in high regard because he was willing to sacrifice his career to strive for equality.
Arizona Cardinals safety Tillman cut short his NFL career to join the army in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in 2001. He was killed in 2004.
"I can only think of – right off the top of my head, Pat Tillman's another guy who did something similar, and we regard him as a hero," Favre told TMZ Sports.
"So I'd assume that hero status will be stamped with Kaepernick as well."
"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.
Kaepernick has been linked to the Los Angeles Chargers among others and Green Bay Packers great Favre added: "I think from a football sense – I can't imagine him being that far out of shape or that far out of touch with football that he doesn't deserve a shot.
"And he's still young, and hasn't been hit in several years. So there's no reason to think that he's lost that much of a step."