Fans React: Colin Kaepernick Refuses To Stand For National Anthem
Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem during the San Francisco 49ers pre-season game on Friday, later saying it was a protest against the treatment of minorities in the U.S. Now fans are reacting.
Kaepernick remained seated on the sidelines of Levi’s Stadium as the “Star-Spangled Banner” played before the game. It was the second time during the pre-season that he chose not to partake in the ritual. In an interview with NFL.com afterward, the player explained, “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 football player went on, “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 went on to acknowledge a potential backlash, saying, “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.”
That said, many on Twitter are now criticizing the athlete for disrespecting the country and the American flag. @gdgough12 tweeted, “Just lost all respect for @Kaepernick7 you’re supposed to be a leader for kids look up to. #Disgraceful.” @jcampbs_10 said, “Colin kaepernick is a scumbag if u can’t respect the great country u live in u really don’t deserve to even live here.” @prestonlong_20 similarly wrote, “If you don’t like this country, you’re free to go. Just lost any respect I had left for him.”
“Then move aside and give your job to someone who will, Some American would appreciate your salary,” argued @IbisTerry. @SurfPHX pointed out, “But…you have no issue cashing your paycheck here in The United States Of America though.” @SteveSilbar suggested, “If Kaepernick is truly bothered, why not use some of his $126M to make a difference? Not buying it #weakexcuse.”
@respectinc offered, “Colin Kaepernick, I am glad you decided to have some civil rights awareness all of a sudden, but there are better ways to handle it.” @JBuyer commented, “[Thumbs up] for intent. but by not standing, you also disrespect those that died so you can play [football] for $126M. [Thumbs down] for delivery.” Others, though, were more understanding of Kaepernick’s perspective.
@Gregulator614 tweeted, “If your response to Colin #Kaepernick is ‘leave the country’ because you don’t agree with him, you have no idea what ‘freedom’ means.” @TrillDavyy remarked, “We need more people that don’t care what people think, props to Collin Kaepernick #BlackLivesMatter.” And @Deacon_Schiele said, “People using Colin Kaepernick’s stats as a reason for him to shut up just don’t get it. Ali was a champion and was vilified for his stance.”
@hitmonjake made a similar comparison, writing, “People out here blacklisting Colin Kaepernick for speaking out would’ve crucified young Muhammad Ali.” @ConnorPatrick argued, “If you dont like Colin Kaepernick sitting during National Anthem campaign to end playing Anthem before EVERY game.Take politics out of sport.” And in one of the more light-hearted responses, @nerdrium posted, “I don’t at all disagree with the sentiment of Colin Kaepernick. I do think it’s funny that he ‘took a stand’ by, well, not standing.”