San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been heavily criticized recently for not standing during the national anthem.
According to ESPN, Kaepernick was spotted sitting between two Gatorade jugs during the national anthem on Friday before a game against the Green Bay Packers. He has sat during the national anthem in all the 49ers' preseason games. Kaepernick said that racial oppression, which he has witnessed and been a part of, and police brutality are the reasons for sitting during the anthem. He also says he plans to continue to sit during the national anthem until he sees some real change when it comes to racial oppression.
"Yes, I'll continue to sit," Kaepernick said. "I'm going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me this is something that has to change. When there's significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it's supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that it's supposed to, I'll stand."
He added that he has nothing against the military and that the military isn’t the reason that he’s sitting during the "Star-Spangled Banner." Another reason for him sitting is to show his displeasure for presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
"You have Hillary [Clinton], who has called black teens or black kids superpredators," Kaepernick said. "You have Donald Trump, who is openly racist. We have a presidential candidate [Clinton] who has deleted emails and done things illegally and is a presidential candidate. That doesn't make sense to me. If that was any other person, you'd be in prison. So what is this country really standing for?"
Kaepernick’s spot on the 49ers roster could be in jeopardy due to his declining performance on the field and not for boycotting the national anthem, according to Fox Sports. Last year, he threw for 1,615 yards and six touchdowns and had five interceptions.
NFL players and fans reacted via Twitter to the quarterback's decision to sit while the anthem is played and at least one 49ers fan burned his jersey.
Texts coming in from coaches, players, front office execs from around league on Kap. So far every player backs him. No coach/exec does.
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) August 27, 2016
@swhitfield75 what does him making money have anything to do with it. He standing for what he believes is right. Can't put a price on it
— Chris McCain (@DolphinEret) August 27, 2016
You're an idiot @Kaepernick7
— John Daly (@JohnDalyUSA) August 27, 2016
— Matthew Hasselbeck (@Hasselbeck) August 27, 2016
Activists changed USA for better but have to associate Nat Anthem w/ military that die for ur right to protest. Stand up. Find another way
— Tyler Polumbus (@Tyler_Polumbus) August 27, 2016
The easy thing to do is to make fun of Kap and his play. How about trying to understand where he's coming from....but that would be too hard
— Adrian Clayborn (@AJaClay) August 27, 2016
Kaep is using his platform & brand to make a compelling & polarizing point, which is his right, even if it's met with ire!#idontagree
— Tiki Barber (@TikiBarber) August 27, 2016
— Mitch Harris (@Mitch_Harris2) August 27, 2016
I'm not saying Kaep is Ali at all but ppl vilified Ali for his stance as well & it wasn't until he couldn't speak that ppl celebrated him
— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) August 27, 2016
— Emmanuel Acho (@thEMANacho) August 27, 2016
49ers fans burning Kaepernick's jersey to the National Anthem pic.twitter.com/MILA3AxNld
— BLACK ADAM SCHEFTER (@B1ackSchefter) August 28, 2016