Sna Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick caused a huge firestorm over the weekend when he revealed he now refuses to stand for the national anthem.
The quarterback, who makes $19 million a year, says that he is protesting in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement:
“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 after Friday’s 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.”
In a more recent interview he addressed this decision again:
Addressing reporters from his locker at the team’s training facility for nearly 20 minutes Sunday, Kaepernick, who’s sat during The Star Spangled Banner for each of the Niners’ preseason games so far, said: “I’ll continue to sit. … I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me, this is something that has to change, and 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 it’s supposed to — I’ll stand.”
Kaepernick said it took time for him to decide how to express himself, but he’s comfortable with his tack — even if it costs him endorsements or his roster spot — as he attempts to shine yet another light on police brutality, specifically, and race relations.
He continued by whining about how unjust the country is these days:
“There are a lot things that are going on that are unjust,” he said. “People aren’t being held accountable for. And that’s something that needs to change. That’s something that this country stands for freedom, liberty and justice for all. And it’s not happening for all right now.”
Just speaking for myself, it’s hard to see a man who is paid $19 million a year to play a game as a credible source on oppression and injustice.