Kaepernick refuses to stand during anthem


Colin Kaepernick throws a pass during Friday’s game against the Packers.

William Sieracki, Reporter

     Football fans have probably heard about what 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick did during a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. While the national anthem was being played, he refused to stand with the rest of his teammates and coaching staff.

     “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 said in an 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.”

     Not long after the interview was released, Kaepernick called Donald Trump “openly racist.” In response, Trump had this to say;

     “I think it’s personally not a good thing, I think it’s a terrible thing. And, you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him. Let him try, it won’t happen.”

     The First Amendment of the U.S Constitution allows people to speak freely.  Kaepernick invoked that right. In fact, several outlets have released statements supporting Kaepernick, including the NFL, who stated that “players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem.” On the other hand, the backlash for, as some people put it, “disrespecting the American flag” has been incredible before and likely will be again in this case.

     Former NBA player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf did something similar not too long ago. After converting to Islam, he refused to stand for the National Anthem for reasons similar to the ones Kaepernick is citing now. Fans were not happy, and it got to the point where Abdul-Rauf was suspended by the NBA.

     Kaepernick has said he realizes the potential consequences of the situation.

     “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.”