Colin Kaepernick explains why he will not stand for national anthem
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was making a political statement when he chose to remain seated during the playing of the national anthem Friday night.
In an interview with NFL Media’s Steve Wyche, Kaepernick admitted he is taking a stand against the United States.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” he said. “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.”
While many professional athletes have spoken out against social injustices, the backlash against Kaepernick has been particularly harsh. Many people believe disrespecting the national anthem is not an appropriate way to send a message, but Kaepernick doesn’t care.
“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,” he said. “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.”
Kaepernick, who is biracial and was adopted by white parents, told Wyche he has discussed his views with his family. He wants to be more active in advocating for rights for African-Americans in the wake of some of the recent police shootings that have taken place in the U.S.
The 49ers released a statement after Friday’s game supporting Kaepernick’s right to choose whether or not to acknowledge the national anthem. It was clear remaining seated was not an oversight from the 28-year-old when you see what he tweeted earlier in the day.