Skip to main content

During his young NFL career, Patrick Mahomes has already proven himself to be quite the talent. Despite his impressive resume and star status, though, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback isn’t resting on his laurels just yet. He’s spoken openly about his areas of improvement and, according to a recent interview, wants to take a page out of Colin Kaepernick’s playbook.

Although he’s only been towering over the NFL landscape for a few years, Patrick Mahomes seems remarkably comfortable in the spotlight. In the future, however, he wants to use his celebrity status to change the world for the better.

Patrick Mahomes has already become one of the NFL’s marquee attractions

While defense might, in theory, win championships, the modern NFL is all about star quarterbacks. The Kansas City Chiefs have one of the best and brightest in Patrick Mahomes.

Mahomes made a name for himself at Texas Tech, where he starred in the Red Raiders’ high-octane offense. Despite that success, though, some scouts were concerned about his ability to adjust to the NFL. Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs, however, had no such doubts.

When the 2017 NFL draft rolled around, the Chiefs traded up to get their man. Although Mahomes spent one season learning the ropes behind Alex Smith, he eventually made up for lost time.

The young quarterback took over the starting job for in 2018 and promptly announced himself to the rest of the sports world; while the Chiefs’ season ultimately ended in disappointment, Mahomes threw for more than 5,000 yards and piled up 50 passing touchdowns en route to an MVP title. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, he followed that off by leading the club to a Super Bowl victory during his second campaign under center.

Colin Kaepernick’s actions transcended the world of football

Before Patrick Mahomes came to the NFL, though, Colin Kaepernick seemed like the next star quarterback. Ultimately, though, the former San Francisco 49er made his impact away from the gridiron.

While Kaepernick didn’t become a starter straight out of college, he stepped into the spotlight after Alex Smith suffered an injury. The quarterback promptly caught lightning in a bottle; between his immediate success and exciting, dual-threat game, he seemed poised to take the NFL by storm.

That, of course, wouldn’t happen. In 2016, Kaepernick famously took a knee in protest during the national anthem; when he hit free agency during the following offseason, he couldn’t find a job. While you could argue that his recent performances and injuries were a complicating factor, a former NFL executive has since admitted that teams simply decided he wasn’t worth the public relations backlash.

While his football career may have ended prematurely, Kaepernick’s impact has transcended the world of sports. In addition to his own personal work and charitable efforts, he’s also set a template for how athletes can be socially conscious in the modern world.

Following the Colin Kaepernick playbook and pledging to ‘speak up’

Earlier in the offseason, Patrick Mahomes motivated Roger Goodell to say ‘Black Lives Matter’ and teamed up with LeBron James to help fight voter suppression. The quarterback, however, isn’t done trying to use his star status for the greater good.

In a recent discussion with Peter King, Mahomes said that his efforts wouldn’t be a one-off push. While he didn’t mention Colin Kaepernick by name, it seems like he’ll be following in the former 49ers’ footsteps.

“Don’t let this moment be forgotten, what happened throughout this offseason,” the quarterback explained. “Football’s obviously super-important but helping out the world is more important and we’re gonna try and do that every single day. I think the biggest thing for me to be a part of that video was that obviously I love football but I love trying to make the world a better place even more.”

Mahomes also drew on his childhood, explaining that he wants everyone to feel accepted, just as he did.

“I think growing up how I’ve grown up, and having a black dad and a white mom, I never was treated any differently. I feel like no one should be treated any differently, no matter where they come from,” the quarterback continued. “I know that with my platform that I have the ability to speak out and people will listen. People will at least listen to what I’m saying. They might not agree with everything that I’m saying but they’re gonna listen. I think having that platform . . . it’s my job and my duty to speak up.”

Patrick Mahomes isn’t worried about a potential public backlash

Given what happened to Colin Kaepernick, it safe to assume that some football fans won’t be happy if Mahomes keeps speaking out about causes beyond football. The Chiefs quarterback, however, isn’t worried about that possibility.

“I mean there’s gonna be people either way,” he said. “Hopefully I have the support of all the fans that have been with me since the beginning. If I don’t, then those fans weren’t true fans of Patrick Mahomes—they were just fans of what I did on the football field. I really respect the people that whether they have the same beliefs with me or not, they’re gonna support me for the person that I am every single day.”