Colin Kaepernick Protests the National Anthem at Preseason Game

By Miya Jones 

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals

Back in 2013, Colin Kaepernick was the lovable quarterback that led the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII. Unfortunately, they lost that year, but he was still held in high regard by the majority of the public, until now. The Milwakee-native received a lot of backlash in his stand against racial inequality.

Before the start of the 49ers pre-season game with the Green Bay Packers, the national anthem was played and Kaepernick decided to sit out on the anthem, literally. He sat down during the song and people have lashed out at Kaepernick in the same way they did when Gymnast and Gold Medalist, Gabby Douglas, did not put her hand over her heart during the team medal ceremony.

During an interview with the NFL media after the game, Kaepernick explained why he decided to sit out on the anthem.

“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.”

Kaepernick, who is biracial and was raised by two white parents, has decided to take a stand against racial injustice along with NBA athletes Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Paul and Dwayne Wade, who gave that powerful speech at the 2016 ESPYS.

Although the NFL does not require its players to stand during the anthem, they joined in on the backlash against the 28-year-old quarterback. The league claims that they were caught off guard by Kaepernick’s decision. “The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens.”

Kaepernick had operations done on his non-throwing shoulder, hand and knee. He was recovering during the offseason, but he has not come back feeling 100 percent. This led to him losing his job as the starting quarterback for the 49ers team. Kaepernick is now the back up quarterback.

Despite being demoted, Kaepernick showed no fear of standing up speaking out on the issues of police brutality and injustice.

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