NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has recently been put under a spotlight for performing a gesture that most have described as appalling and disrespectful. The San Fransisco 49ers superstar was seen sitting down throughout the entirety of the national anthem, where it is a notable tradition for everyone to be standing. This happened before a preseason game began against the Green Bay Packers at Levi’s Stadium on Friday. But after considering Kaepernick’s argument for his action, was the incident actually as disgraceful as fans and media may have made it out to be?
After the 49ers took an 11 point loss to Green Bay, Pro Football Talk covered Kaepernick’s defiance for over an hour although the quarterback had not yet even been confronted about his decision by any media sources.
During an interview with NFL.com, Kaepernick finally received the opportunity to explain his case. This is what he stated in order to justify what he did:
“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.”
Although the “Star Spangled Banner” that we sing as our anthem only consists of one stanza, the poem that was originally written had four stanzas. Throughout the poem, the stanzas outline war triumphs and slave-related habits that were common lifestyle practices at the time the poem was published. These are still popular issues in the modern world, and are certainly in dire need of some sort of major protest.
Is it fair for Kaepernick to exercise his freedom of speech publically, for the entire nation to see? Although he is a role model and is idolized by fans all over the nation, is it fair for the superstar to recognize his rights as an American and stand up for what he believes in? Or can this be regarded as more every day, attention-seeking, immature behavior?
Let us know how you feel about Kaepernick’s stance in the comments!