Kaepernick Goes Into Detail About Anthem Protest, The League Reacts


Kaepernick Goes Into Detail About Anthem Protest, The League Reacts

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The big sports story over the weekend was QB Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand during the national anthem. We covered his initial statement in our last article, and you can click here to read the full story.

Since the game on Friday night, Kaepernick has been repeatedly asked about his decision and he’s been extremely vocal:

“I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand,” Kaepernick told reporters on Sunday.

“I do think that the talk has been more about me, more about I know a lot of people’s initial reactions thought it was bashing the military, which it wasn’t. That wasn’t my intention at all. I think now that we have those things cleared up, we can get to the root of what I was saying and really address those issues.”

“[Racism’s] something that I’ve seen, I’ve felt, wasn’t quite sure how to deal with originally. And it is something that’s evolved. It’s something that as I’ve gained more knowledge about, what’s gone on in this country in the past, what’s going on currently. These aren’t new situations. This isn’t new ground. There are things that have gone on in this country for years and years and have never been addressed, and they need to be… I have experienced this. People close to me have experienced this. This isn’t something that’s a one-off case here or a one-off case there. This has become habitual. This has become a habit. So this is something that needs to be addressed.”

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback also discussed his team’s reaction to this story, and the contents of his meeting with management:

“[Management] asked me to talk and just explain why I did what I did, and why I felt the way I felt. I had an open conversation with them. I told them why I felt that way and looked at things the way I do. A lot of it has to do with the history of the country and where we’re currently at. I opened it up to all my teammates. Come talk to me if you have any questions. If you want to understand what I’m thinking further, come talk to me. It shouldn’t be something that should be hidden. These conversations need to happen and can bring everybody closer…

This isn’t something I’m going to ask other people to put their necks out for what I’m doing. If they agree with me and feel strongly about it, then by all means I hope they stand with me. But I’m not going to go and try to recruit people and be like ‘Hey, come do this with me’ because I know the consequences that come with that, and they need to make that decision for themselves.”

Kaepernick also stated that he has disdain for each of the current presidential candidates.
Though his decision has garnered a lot of criticism, Kaepernick’s also gained support from several players around the league. Aaron Rodgers, Malcolm Jenkins and Austin Seferian-Jenkins are just a few of the players who have supported Kaepernick in exercising his rights, even if they didn’t directly support his reasoning.

“If you live in America, you have the right to express yourself freely,” Seferian-Jenkins stated during an interview with Peter King. “This is not a Communist country. It’s the land of the free and the home of the brave, and people sacrifice their lives so Americans can have the freedom of speech that he chose to use — regardless of how people feel about it. But I think if he’s serious about the problem, he should invest in the black community. He should invest in education. He should invest in Oakland. People have been standing up and saying things, but we need action.”

CBS reporter Ryan Wilson also argued that there were “better ways for Kaepernick to affect change”, while Chicago Tribune reporter David Haugh expressed a more diplomatic position:

“Colin Kaepernick’s seated stance deserves respect, not applause or attacks… We cannot encourage professional athletes to use their platforms to promote social change only when a majority of media members — predominantly white men — agree with what they say and how they present it… Kaepernick was entitled to express himself openly, as we all are entitled. ny disrespect people say Kaepernick showed the U.S. military that protects the rights he exercised shouldn’t be answered with disrespectfulness in return… You can accept and understand what Kaepernick did without necessarily applauding it. But attacking him seems wrong too.”

Kaepernick has another game scheduled for this Thursday, and he is not expected to stand during the anthem.