I’m a fair-weathered football/Ravens fan who never knew of Colin Kaepernick until the National Anthem protest. Since the controversy broke, Kaepernick has gained a fan in me, and it has nothing to do with football.
For those who are living under a rock, the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers refused to stand during the National Anthem before their game against the Greenbay Packers. He protested for the Black Lives Matter movement and the wrongdoings against African-Americans and minorities in this country.
“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 organization issued a statement about Kaepernick’s decision:
“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.”
Unfortunately, a handful of Americans doesn’t share that sentiment.
Kaepernick has received criticism for “disrespecting the flag”,and 49ers fans can’t stand that he’s protested in a team uniform.
Let’s be mindful that the American flag represents a country where people deem us racists when we point out racism.
Let’s be mindful that the American flag represents a country where people are “with us”, as long as we don’t speak our truth.
Let’s be mindful that the American Flag represents a country where people are okay with expressing your freedom, as long as it’s within their comfort.
Harry Belafonte said it best.“I think that when a black voice is raised in protest to oppression, those who are comfortable with our oppression are the first to criticize us for daring to speak out against it,” he says to Roland Martin on ‘News One Now’.
Why is Kaepernick the most courageous black man in America?
…because he’s standing up for what he believes in, despite the harsh criticism.
…he’s helping to make this country more aware of what African-Americans and other minorities face.
…Football, the sport of America, is the perfect platform for Kaepernick to make his voice heard and football fans can’t do anything but LISTEN!
The fact that this man is criticized for speaking out against injustice and police brutality is the very reason why his protest is necessary.
When a black voice is raised, the denial AND the hypocrisy among these critics is amazing, to say the least! Kaepernick sits down during National Anthem and he gets dragged. Ryan Lochte is vandalizing shit in other countries (during The Olympics), and he’s invited to compete on ‘Dancing With The Stars’!
It’s too much
As if Kaepernick can’t get any more woke! He puts his money where his mouth is. The admirable player will donate 1 million of his earnings to organizations that fights against racial inequality and police brutality.