San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick won’t stand up for the National Anthem because he refuses to “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people,” according to NFL.com.
Kaepernick did not stand up for the anthem before Friday night’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers and explained to reporters that he was sending a message that is bigger than football.
“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” Kaepernick told NFL Media. “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
The 49ers issued this 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 and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
Kaepernick is clearly aware that his stance will bother people, but he doesn’t seem to care.
“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,” Kaepernick told NFL.com. “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.”
Kaepernick frequently sends messages on social media pertaining to civil rights. The former star has seen his career suffer recently, and he’s now in a competition with Blaine Gabbert for the starting gig. Many experts feel Kaepernick is a perfect fit for new head coach Chip Kelly’s offense, but Kaepernick’s injuries and poor performance have resulted in Kelly being forced to discuss if Kaepernick will even make the team.