San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem before a game on Friday. By refusing to stand for the playing of the national anthem in protest of what he deems are wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in the United States.
Before everyone gets their panties in a bunch please know the “players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem.”
Kaepernick, who is biracial, was adopted and raised by white parents and siblings. Kaepernick explains why he sat during national anthem:
“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 NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “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.”
By taking a stand for civil rights, Kaepernick, 28, joins other athletes, like the NBA’s Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony and several WNBA players in using their platform and status to raise awareness to issues affecting minorities in the U.S.
Kaepernick said that he is aware of what he is doing and that he knows it will not sit well with a lot of people, including the 49ers. He said that he did not inform the club or anyone affiliated with the team of his intentions to protest the national anthem.
“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,” he said. “I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”
Kaepernick said that he has thought about going public with his feelings for a while but that “I felt that I needed to understand the situation better.”
Kaepernick said he didn’t inform the team of his plan to protest. In a statement, the 49ers said he had the right to not participate.
“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony,” the statement said. “It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
The football star is now under attack on all social media accounts, his facebook, twitter and Instagram. He is receiving all types of threats and harsh rude comments.
Why is it when a person stands for what they believe in– they have to be harassed, risk losing endorsements, and torn apart?
The 49ers issued a statement about Kaepernick’s decision: “The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
The NFL also released a statement, obtained by NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport: “Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem.”