On Friday August 26, 2016, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick raised headlines. During the traditional pregame of the national anthem, everyone is required to stand and pay their respect. However, Kaepernick refused to take part. The question was, why he is doing this? Let’s break down the defense for his actions.
It was the third preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. Everyone was out enjoying their Friday evening in the notorious Bay Area of California. Perfect weather, good vibes, and football, what more could you ask for? While the field crew began to spread the flag and prep for the National Anthem, Kaepernick slowly walked over to the bench. All personnel on the sidelines stand at the border of the field and salute the nation. Kaepernick chose to sit on the bench. It wasn’t a big deal because he could’ve had a cramp or needed to rest before the actual game, but that was not the case. Below is his stance.
“I have great respect for men and women that have fought for this country,” Kaepernick said. “I have family and friends that have gone and fought for this country. They fight for freedom and for the people. They fight for liberty and justice for everyone. And that’s not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up as far as, you know, giving freedom and justice and liberty to everybody.”
I must say, what he is doing is very brave. He is not the penciled starting QB for the 49ers, and this kind of division can cost him his job. A peaceful protest as most would call it. His teammates are not letting his actions divide the locker room. However, neither are taking sides. Kaepernick stated he will continue to sit during the national anthem throughout the season. That’s if he is still in the league.
I’ll close by saying this, Kaepernick is not the first athlete to stand for something he believes in. Muhammad Ali received similar backlash with his protest against the Vietnam War. Athletes standing up to issues in society are very real, but their influence is what can help bring about change to the world we live in.
Until next time.
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