Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers has been at the center of a media hailstorm this past weekend. The NFL quarterback decided to take a stand – well, take a seat – against police brutality in America by not standing up for the National Anthem during a preseason football game.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told the NFL after his game against Green Bay. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
The response to Kaepernick’s silent protest has been… interesting. For example, many people who claim to be fans of the late Muhammad Ali, who repeatedly protested injustices in America on behalf of black people, are condemning Kaepernick for being ungrateful and disrespectful to anyone who’s fought for the U.S.
Fans have recorded videos burning his jersey with the National Anthem playing and there are even whispers that his actions may be dividing the locker room. Some have gone far enough to say that he could end up being cut by the team.
Meanwhile, media officials have pressured him on his stance, resulting in him doubling down.
“Yes, I’ll continue to sit. I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed,” Kaepernick said during an interview. “To me, this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change, and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent and this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”
While Colin Kaepernick will likely face scrutiny for as long as he continues to protest, and even long after, it’s especially important that he gets support from those that agree with his stance.
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