San Fransico 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick caused controversy after refusing to stand for the national anthem during a pre-season game. His actions were a deliberate protest to draw attention to his comments on NFL.com,
I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. 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. …
This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. 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.”
Most American’s did not appreciate his actions. Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer told The Controversial Times,
Colin Kaepernick needs to remember that a lot of men and women bled for that flag he refuses to stand for. A lot of those men and women were African-Americans who fought, bled, and died on behalf of that flag and those freedoms.
That flag stands for freedom and has nothing to do with the issue he is trying to portray. But, if he feels this is something he has to do, he should rock on. Because that’s what freedom is all about.”
In an interview with the Independent Journal, Army Ranger Veteran Dorian Majied said,
To refuse to stand for the National Anthem is his right as an American, and I support that right, however I do not agree with that action.
There are a myriad of other ways to conduct social protest for people of color, that don’t, whether by intent or otherwise, ignore the American principles that have given rise to extreme integration within a single American generation.
My father was born without the right to vote and in one generation I’ve been blessed to lead amongst (SIC) the world’s greatest fighting force.”
The San Fransisco 49ers walked a tight-rope in their press release attempting to balance support for their quarterback against the outrage of public opinion saying
The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pregame ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
The New York Giants however took a not to subtle ‘stance’ against Kaepernick. Instead of simply standing at the bench, all players and staff deliberately lined the entire side of the field to clearly show their respect for the flag and American tradition.
Pretty deliberate sideline for the Giants during the anthem tonight. All players and staff standing. pic.twitter.com/5iqUJp4eqQ
— tara sullivan (@Record_Tara) August 27, 2016