Kendrick Lamar Says This Quote From 50 Cent Helped Him Realize His Influence On His Fans

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“The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!” - President Donald Trump in a tweet describing the divide between the two sides of the NFL player protests  

In a digital world where literally every company and person on the planet is competing for attention from everyone else, measuring influence has become an industry of its own. As we take a look back at the year, there are certain themes and discussions that continued to reoccur that make it a little easier to discern which figures had the most influence in the sports world. One of those figures was undoubtedly President Donald Trump, who just topped Sports Business Journal’s 50 Most Influential list.  

President Trump’s name was a part of the biggest sports story of the year — Colin Kaepernick’s inability to find a job for the 2017 NFL season due in large part for his protests in the previous season. But that wasn’t the only way POTUS found himself in sports stories. He spent an insane amount of time on golf courses and played with the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, and Dustin Johnson.  

Trump’s headlines also included public spats with the NBA. Mark Cuban, Steph Curry, and LaVar Ball were all subjects on Trump’s Twitter account, while many, many others mentioned the president in response to a number of his comments.  

President Trump’s battle with the NFL didn’t stop with Kaepernick, as he also made several comments about this season’s NFL player protests and what he’d like to see done about it. At the center of it all, is, and will continue to be, Kaepernick, who, as a juxtaposition, was given Sports Illustrated’s Ali Legacy Award.  

Both President Trump and Colin Kaepernick were incredibly influential in driving a lot of the discourse about how and why we talk about social issues in this country. Both men, coming from completely different standpoints fought, for better or for worse, for what they believed in and saw their stories intersect several times over in the last 365 days.  

Trump’s boisterous approach saw him jump in and out of the conversation when he saw best fit and riled up those who agreed and disagreed alike. Kaepernick quietly continued to donate the money he promised to pledge while supporting those in his community who needed fighting for while quietly fighting for himself against the NFL.

Heading into 2018 with neither of their asks from this year coming anywhere near a resolution, we can expect both men to continue to dominate headlines for the next 12 months.

- Phillip Barnett

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