Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal appeared on the Fox News Channel show Fox & Friends this last Thursday. He commented on the controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for the national anthem. Kaepernick has previously stated he is doing it in order to raise awareness about the “oppression of African Americans.”
O’Neil raised questions about Kaepernick’s motives and seemingly intimated he does not agree with his actions. He questioned why Kaepernick has chosen this time to speak out and show how he is feeling and also added that their are a plethora of other ways that Kaepernick could raise awareness without sitting down during the anthem.
“I don’t know Colin, but again, to each his own. I don’t really have a say on it, but I would never do that. My father was a military man, and you know, he protected this country. Uncles are in law enforcement, you know, they go out and work hard every day. Just, (there are) other ways to get your point across.”
He he went on to add,
“Again, my thing is, you have to enter onto the scene one way. People like Muhammad Ali and Bill Russell, they were one way their whole career. You can’t show us something and then go to another just because of certain issues.
I’m aware of all the issues, but my question is, how come you didn’t do it last year? Or how come you didn’t do it when you first entered the NFL? I don’t know Colin. To each his own. It’s his constitutional right to do that, but I’d never do that.
O’Neil noted that many expect him to automatically support Kaepenrick because they are both African American. However, that is not the case. He made it a point to recognize that he can be African American, pro-military, and pro-law enforcement. One does not negate the other.