A popular professional football player became the latest celebrity to voice their support for The Black Lives Matter movement which was founded in the wake of numerous black citizens who died at the hands of police violence.
The quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick, shocked the nation when he chose to sit during the singing of the National Anthem. Individuals around the nation were dismayed at Kaepernick’s decision, but he offered a rationale for his decision. He said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. 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.”
Surprisingly, rather than distance themselves from Kaepernick, the management of the 49ers is standing by his actions. They issued a statement, “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 to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
Kaepernick says he is going to continue to take a stand, and damn the consequences. He ambivalently stated, “This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed.”
Watch Colin Kaepernick refuse to stand for the national anthem: