San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has put himself in the hot seat by protesting and refusing to stand for the National Anthem.
Forty Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick has willingly and knowingly immersed himself into controversy 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.
His latest refusal to stand for the Anthem — he has done this in at least one other preseason game — came before the 49ers preseason loss to Green Bay at Levi’s Stadium.
“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 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.”
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’s protest doesn’t come as a surprise to his 1 million Instagram followers. He has long been “woke,” with most of his posts being politically charged and calling out racism and police brutality.
Kaepernick is the latest high-profile athlete to take a stand, following behind the likes of Carmelo Anthony. But this is perhaps one of the boldest moves we’ve seen thus far.
What do you think of Kaepernick’s actions?