By: Ty P.
Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers has gained national attention for sitting during the anthems of NFL games. There is a wide spectrum of opinions on what Kaepernick is doing, from many different people. He is showing support to the people of colour in the U.S.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag of a country that oppresses black people and people of color. 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.”
All eyes are now on Kaepernick before games even begin, because of him sitting or kneeling in all of the national anthems. He began his protest on August 14, or the first preseason game of the 49ers, although he went unnoticed until week 3 of preseason. Kaepernick’s kneeling is to show support to the suppressed people of colour in the U.S. and take stand against the police brutality in the country. Kaepernick wasn’t the first athlete to do this; although he possibly created the most noise about the protest. Other athletes such as Lebron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and several WNBA players had done their share in raising awareness for the issue.
Kaepernick has led to many others to do what he does. On September 1st, 49ers safety Eric Reid was the first to kneel alongside Kaepernick. On the same day Seattle Seahawks corner back Jeremy Lane sat during the national anthem just minutes after the 49ers pair did. Lane became the first person to sit that wasn’t a teammate of Kaepernick. The protest eventually spread out of the NFL, and the first to do so was Seattle Reign star Megan Rapinoe. She had supported Kaepernick because as a gay American she knew what it was like to “look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties.” This caused quite an uproar in the soccer community, to the point of the Washington Spirit rescheduling the anthem to while players were in the locker room so Rapinoe couldn’t kneel during the anthem.
Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos, was the first to kneel during a regular season NFL game. Marshall was former college teammates with Kaepernick at UNR (University of Nevada). I’m not against the military. I’m not against the police or America, I’m against social injustice.” On the 15 year anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist bombings, four of the Miami Dolphins players (linebacker Jelani Jenkins, wide receiver Kenny Stills, running back Arian Foster, and safety Michael Thomas) all kneeled during the national anthems, but stood for the 9-11 acknowledgements. Although no players kneeled, both the Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs had their players link arms in support of Kaepernick’s cause. Many players also raised their fists during the anthems in support of Kaepernick. The protest is continuing as each week goes on, and has more and more people joining in. The entire WNBA Indiana Fever roster kneeled during the anthem while two opponents joined them in the protest. Many high school football teams have also showed their support, along with the Howard University cheerleaders. Victor Oladipo of the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA said himself won’t go along with the Kaepernick protest, but “wouldn’t be surprised if some players did it.” Along with recently retired running back Marshawn Lynch said he would rather see Colin “take a knee than stand up, put his hands up, and get murdered.“
Colin Kaepernick is currently one of the most influential people on this planet, and it is shown by his recent placement on the cover of “Time Magazine.” Whether you like his cause or not, he is trying to change this world, and is influencing many people including athletes to do the same.