Colin Kaepernick refused to stand when the American national anthem was played – a move that stunned a lot of people. He explained that he did it in protest of the racial discrimination against black Americans and San Francisco 49ers’ fans responded by burning down Kaepernick jerseys to the ground.
Kaepernick told NFL.com the reason he refused to stand when “The Star-Spangled Banner” was played during Friday’s match against the Green Bay Packers. The 28-year-old quarterback stated that his action was in protest of black Americans being oppressed and the killings of people because of their color and race.
“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.”
The 49ers issued a statement immediately after the incident stating that Kaepernick’s action was within the bounds of his constitutional rights as a citizen and that the team would always be in respect to the national anthem. The team added in the statement that the national anthem is in respect for the American principles of freedom of religion and freedom of expression.
But Kaepernick’s action did not come as convincing to other people as some 49ers fans burned his jersey in response to his protest. Netizens went on social media posting their sentiments against Kaepernick, with videos and photos of them burning his jersey. Other fans posted a picture of wounded veteran holding himself upright in his wheelchair to the anthem.
Kaepernick’s actions will surely continue to draw attention about how long will he sit down when the national anthem being played. It will also question how long the 49ers as an organization would tolerate such action.
Video Courtesy: SportHub/YouTube.com
Many have stated that it is Kaepernick’s right to express his sentiments. But many still view it as an insult to the men and women who have sacrificed their lives to bring prosperity, peace, and unity to a divided land.
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