San Francisco 49ers quarter back Colin Kaepernick has stirred up quite the controversy. The NFL player refused to stand for the playing of the national anthem, which is tradition in the NFL and just about anywhere else in America. However, Kaepernick just wasn’t feeling the American pride. Due to the wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in this country, he protested the 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.”
Often times, when the country is facing issues, athletes catch a lot of heat for not speaking out. So, whether you agree with his protest or not, it’s nice to see someone being brave and standing up for what they believe in.
The NFL issued a statement regarding Kapernick’s protest:
“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.”
Niners coach Chip Kelly says that Kaepernick has the right to do whatever he would like, and it is not our right to tell him what not to do. Some are even comparing Colin to a young Muhammed Ali, who was definitely not afraid of controversy when it came to standing up for his people.
There are some who think Kapernick is being disrespectful and should face some sort of penalty. However, the NFL says players are encouraged to stand for the anthem, but are not required.
Checkout critics tweets below:
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Written By: Rahkiya Brown