Colin Kaepernick Sits During National Anthem: ‘I Have to Stand Up for People That Are Oppressed’
Before Colin Kaepernick sat for most of Friday night’s preseason game, he sat for the national anthem.
In the immediate aftermath of the game, no reporter asked about nor did the quarterback initially provide a reason why he sat down during “The Star Spangled Banner.” But the team released a statement following the game obliquely categorizing the incident as one of “expression” rather than negligence.
“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony,” the team explained to ProFootballTalk. “It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its 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.”
Kaepernick eventually outlined his motivations to NFL Media. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” the former Super Bowl starter explained. “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.” – READ MORE