Gregg Popovich believes Colin Kaepernick will eventually be celebrated like Muhammad Ali

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Gregg Popovich believes Colin Kaepernick will be recognized for his “courageous” actions. (AP Photos)
Gregg Popovich believes Colin Kaepernick will be recognized for his “courageous” actions. (AP Photos)

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich believes former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be celebrated in time. Popovich believes people will one day view Kaepernick the way they view Muhammad Ali, according to Marc J. Spears of ESPN.

Popovich also compared Kaepernick to Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the two African-American track athletes who raised their fists in protest during the 1968 Olympics.

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Smith met with the Golden State Warriors — the Spurs’ opponent — prior to Wednesday’s game. Smith spoke about his experience, which was received well by the team, according to Spears. The Warriors would go on to win Wednesday’s game 141-102.

After raising their fists in protest of civil rights injustices, both Smith and Carlos were suspended from the U.S. track team and banned from Olympic Village. Ali was stripped of his titles and had his boxing licenses denied after refusing to serve in the Vietnam War.

Kaepernick has not played in the NFL after taking a knee on multiple occasions to protest racial injustice in the United States. The 49ers planned to cut Kaepernick, but he opted out of his deal first. Kaepernick put up a 16-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2016, but wasn’t picked up by any team. He filed a collusion grievance against the league, which has yet to be resolved.

The 31-year-old Kaepernick has kept himself in shape to show NFL teams he’s still serious about playing in the league. Since he’s been out of the NFL, Kaepernick has been the face of a Nike ad, and has continued his work as an activist.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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