With football season right around the corner, it’s no surprise that stories about the sport are everywhere. Whether it’s Tony Romo breaking his back (again) or the defending champs deciding to start a player who’s never thrown an NFL pass, there’s plenty to talk about for sports fans. But one storyline in particular has dominated the headlines in recent days.
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is dividing the sports community with his decision to not stand during the playing of the national anthem. In a preseason matchup against Green Bay last Friday, Kaepernick made a conscious decision to remain seated during the playing of the national anthem in a showing of protest.
When news broke and everyone started talking about his unpatriotic act, Kaepernick explained his reasoning, saying that he is protesting on behalf of people oppressed because of their race.
“This country stands for freedom, liberty, justice for all – and it’s not happening for all right now,” he said. “This is because I’m seeing things happen to people that don’t have a voice, people that don’t have a platform to talk and have their voices heard and effect change. So I’m in a position where I can do that, and I’m going to do that for people that can’t.”
“I’ll continue to sit. … I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me, this is something that has to change, and when there’s significant change — and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way it’s supposed to — I’ll stand.
“There are a lot things that are going on that are unjust. People aren’t being held accountable for. And that’s something that needs to change. That’s something that this country stands for freedom, liberty and justice for all. And it’s not happening for all right now.”
Apparently he did not expect his protest to get nearly this much attention, but he’s happy he did as it has sparked a conversation. But other people’s opinions on his act are split.
Some are coming out in support of the QB’s decision to use this stage to protest the injustices he sees happening across the country.
Kaep has every right to express his feelings/beliefs and ppl have every right to disagree. That's ok folks!
— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) August 27, 2016
Kaep is using his platform & brand to make a compelling & polarizing point, which is his right, even if it's met with ire!#idontagree
— Tiki Barber (@TikiBarber) August 27, 2016
The easy thing to do is to make fun of Kap and his play. How about trying to understand where he's coming from….but that would be too hard
— Adrian Clayborn (@AJaClay) August 27, 2016
Others, however, think he is dishonoring all of the soldiers who have sacrificed to have the right to protest like this, saying he should find a different way to fight the good fight.
— Mitch Harris (@Mitch_Harris2) August 27, 2016
As Colin said, though, he did this to get people talking about the issues, and even though most of the discussion is focused on him right now, he’s been somewhat successful in that venture. And he’s said that he plans to continue to sit until he sees some change.
But what about you? Do you think what Kaepernick is doing is right and that he should be lauded for his efforts, or is it simply disrespectful and that he should be find another way to make his point known?