There's nothing new about sports figures using their celebrity to espouse social causes, but few of them in recent history have been particularly polarizing. We need to look back to the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics to find an athlete's protest so widely publicized and criticized. Back then, two U.S. sprinters, gold medalist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos stood on the podium to receive their medals. As the national anthem began to play, they both stood, heads bowed, fists raised in black power salutes. Public reaction was swift and almost entirely negative. Kaepernick's silently kneeling while the "Star-Spangled Banner" was played seems mild in comparison to what Smith and Carlos did. Certainly, an NFL preseason game is a more innocuous stage for a protest than the medal platform at the Olympics games. Why, then, has public reaction been so negative?