Colin Kaepernick Refuses to Stand

“Pro Football Schedules”

Dulce Paz, Staff Writer

The start of football season means the start of controversy, and this is especially true for San Francisco 49ers player, Colin Kaepernick. The quarterback has been getting backlash over social media and from other celebrities for refusing to stand during the National Anthem. People like Drew Brees and Jerry Rice have called out the quarterback for disrespecting the flag. Brees said he is fine with Kaepernick speaking out about racial issues but he should also honor the country that has done so much.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people…to me, this is bigger than football,” said Kaepernick in an attempt to defend himself. This comes at a time when racial tensions are at an all time high in this country. Over the summer, there were several cases of unarmed black men being shot by police officers and police brutality has also come to light in recent months.

This isn’t the first time when social issues have been mixed with athletics. In 2014, The St. Louis Rams recreated the popular “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” during a Sunday night game. They also refused to apologize to the police for their actions. They did this following the high profile case of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson.

His actions have received mixed reactions. Some praised him for sitting because they felt like most athletes wouldn’t be willing to.

Unlike most, Hall of Famer Jim Brown has expressed support for Kaepernick’s actions. He is known for being a social activist and played during a time where African-American players were discriminated against. NBA legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, has called his actions “patriotic” since he is bringing attention to the issue. It seems more reasonable for Kaepernick to use his popularity and money to raise awareness instead of angering fans.

There is also a popular hastag on twitter, #VeteransForKaepernick. This hashtag is veterans showing support, not for his action, but for his right to exercise that freedom. They feel like they risked their lives for the First Amendment freedom and Americans should be able to use it even if others don’t agree with it. The founder of the hashtag also used it because he said he felt like veterans haven’t always gotten the best treatment in the past. Marcus Newsome, founder of the hashtag, told news outlets he felt that too much focus was put into Kaepernick’s actions rather than the message of his actions.

Overall, Kaepernick’s actions will definitely continue to be a topic of discussion, whether or not he’s being praised or shut down.