When Colin Kaepernick knelt for the National Anthem he became a trailblazer and sparked international conversation. Some loved his gesture, others hated it but everyone paid attention. Now, Kaepernick is out of the NFL but his influence remains during every rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Like mindless Kaepernick zombies, countless Nfl Players kneel while their leader sits at home eating Cheetos, unemployed. The kneeling aimed to portray a message of activism against inequality and accomplished that goal quickly. Although Kaepernick was a flawed messenger there was nothing wrong with having the conversation.

Police brutality against young African-Americans is a real occurrence and bringing attention to it was a good thing.

The creativity and guts shown by Kaepernick is nowhere to be found on current NFL sidelines. Kneeling and sitting during the National Anthem now stands as proof of a stale movement. In the day of 24/7 news and sports, the copycat kneelers become lost in the world of talk radio and sound bites. Even so, the talking heads won't let the Kaepernick story go despite the desire of many listeners. In short, the act of kneeling during the National Anthem no longer means what it once did.

Take your own Stand

Countless NFL players have shown support for Colin Kaepernick throughout the last year.

The Stand Kaepernick took was original, provocative and created dialogue in places where it had never been before. Current NFL players continue to emulate the act of kneeling but are failing to create new dialogue. The conversation among NFL fans is now an argument about kneeling and not a conversation about inequality. It's time for NFL players to grab onto the creativity of Kaepernick and take their own stand in their own way.

If police brutality were the only problem in America kneeling could remain the statement of choice. However, the United States is now the divided States and there are plenty of issues that need discussion. A "silent majority" helped to elect Donald Trump but that same majority finds no public representation in the NFL.

If players truly care about equality wouldn't they welcome a player sporting "Make America Great Again" on their cleats?

Obviously, they would welcome that message...with violence and outrage. This may be an extreme example, but the point is this: NFL players need to take their own stand, not Kaepernick's.

Be your own Man

Manhood in America is often ridiculed because of the prime position men have always had in this country. At the same time, the NFL is the central location of masculinity in all of America. These supposed leaders of men are now shallow Lemmings following Kaepernick, instead of blazing their own path. Being a man, however, has nothing to do with kneeling or even being a football player. JJ Watt, for example, raised $27 million for Hurricane Harvey relief on his own. Being your own man is the act of standing up for what you believe, not riding the coattails of another.

Kneeling during the National Anthem has only been going on for a year and is already old news. Every time an NFL player kneels or sits, he becomes a sad representation of what is wrong with America. Countless men and women regurgitate conservative or liberal talking points daily without ever having one original idea. Consequently, America is now a country of blind people divided because they refuse to be their own person or take their own stand.

Professional athletes have the chance to make real change through their actions on and off the field of play. Whether Colin Kaepernick is worth following can be debated another day. Yet, NFL players have the chance to generate cultural change this season...if they ever start thinking for themselves.