Editor’s Note: LZ Granderson is a journalist and political analyst. He was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago and the Hechinger Institute at Columbia University, and is a co-host of ESPN’s SportsNation and ESPN LA 710’s Mornings with Keyshawn, Jorge and LZ. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @lzgranderson. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. View more opinion articles on CNN.

CNN  — 

Conservative talk radio host Ben Ferguson has tweeted and retweeted a handful of rebukes of Nike for choosing to use Colin Kaepernick in its latest “Just Do It” campaign. The ad features a headshot of the former NFL quarterback with the words: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Now that the dust surrounding Kaepernick’s departure from the NFL has settled, we’re able to have a more substantive conversation about some of the controversial topics that his peaceful protest against oppression of people of color during the national anthem sparked: freedom of speech and patriotism.

LZ Granderson