Kaepernick’s Protest for African Americans Rights

Hania Taduran, Writer

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has taken a stand by not standing.

Before the preseason game with the Green Bay Packers on August 26, as the national anthem played, Kaepernick refused to stand. He later explained to the media that he was protesting towards the rights and wrongdoings towards African Americans.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick explained after the game. “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.”

Kaepernick is not the only athlete who has decided to fight for what they believe in. His teammate Eric Reid joined Kaepernick and kneeled during the national anthem. Later, on September 1, football player Jeremy Lane and US Women’s National Team soccer player Megan Rapinoe joined the protest in support of Kaepernick.

Since his protest, Kaepernick has received much criticism from the media, former teammates, and even Donald Trump. Trump says that Kaepernick should “find a country that works better for him.”  Many think he’s disrespecting the troops because the national anthem is a ceremony of respect for those who have died serving the country and not standing shows he doesn’t respect them. John Tortorella, an NHL coach has threatened to bench any player who joins this protest.

Many might not agree with Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit out the national anthem, but they should understand his reasons for protesting. Even president Barack Obama himself is supportive. Obama has reminded citizens that the players are just expressing their rights.

Coach Guy Gardner, the PVHS football coach said, “I don’t necessarily agree with the topic but it’s not my place to tell the players to not exercise their rights.” He believes that these athletes have the right to fight for what they believe in and he would definitely not punish a player for not standing up during the national anthem.

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Kaepernick’s Protest for African Americans Rights