Since Friday night, our country has been up in arms after a football player refused to stand for the national anthem. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand with the rest of the stadium as the Star-Spangled Banner began to play. Instead he chose to stay seated.
Kaepernick claimed his action to sit was his way of protesting racial oppression in America.
In a statement, Kaepernick publically announced,
“I am not going to stand up and show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he told NFL Media.
“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.”
A Veteran’s Opinion
Kaepernick has received harsh feedback for his actions from various news outlets, his fellow teammates, and even veterans.
Noah Galloway is an army veteran and a double amputee. When he witnessed Kaepernick’s actions he was horrified.
Galloway called Kaepernick out on public television by saying,
“You are being a jerk and not understanding what this country stands for”.
Kaepernick announced on Sunday,
“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.”
The war veteran understands,
“There are changes that need to be made, yes, but you are disrespecting our brothers and sisters of all different races and nationalities that have given their lives for this country.”
Even with all of the backlash and harsh criticism Kaepernick has faced, he refuses to back down.
“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,” Kaepernick 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.”