Quarterback Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers football team has made headlines internationally when he refused to stand at attention for the National Anthem at a recent pre-season NFL game this past weekend. He stated that his refusal was in part of a protest against the oppression of African American people in the United States.
Kaepernick told NFL.com,
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for 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.
This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. 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.”
Dakota Meyer who is a Medal of Honor recipient was none to pleased with Kaepernick’s actions and statements. Meyer told the media that while Kaepernick is of course legally allowed to do whatever he chooses he would do well to remind himself of the sacrifice that goes behind the flag that he so publicly disrespected.
“If that’s what he feels he wants to do with his fame and his platform, that’s his choice. But Colin Kaepernick needs to remember that a lot of men and women bled for that flag he refuses to stand for. A lot of those men and women were African-Americans who fought, bled, and died on behalf of that flag and those freedoms.
That flag stands for freedom and has nothing to do with the issue he is trying to portray. But, if he feels this is something he has to do, he should rock on. Because that’s what freedom is all about.”
Army Ranger Veteran Dorian Majied said,
“To refuse to stand for the National Anthem is his right as an American, and I support that right, however I do not agree with that action. There are a myriad of other ways to conduct social protest for people of color, that don’t, whether by intent or otherwise, ignore the American principles that have given rise to extreme integration within a single American generation. My father was born without the right to vote and in one generation I’ve been blessed to lead amongst the world’s greatest fighting force.”
Their feelings are pretty clear on the issue.