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Colin Kaepernick On Why He Refuses to Stand for the National Anthem

NFLColin Kaepernick On Why He Refuses to Stand for the National Anthem

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Everything you need to know about the San Francisco QB's controversial stance.

Friday night, 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to use his position as a professional athlete to make a political statement about race in America. Before his pre-season game against the Green Bay Packers, Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem. This of course led a huge number of people to freak out about HOW DISRESPECTFUL he is and how HE HAS NO RIGHT to do this. Also how he now has CHARACTER ISSUES. (All of the all-caps phrases should be read in the voice of the most despicable talk radio host you can think of.) Now, of course this is rich considering it was only a few months ago that many of these same people praised Muhammad Ali upon his passing, when Ali's greatest accomplishment was sacrificing prime years of his career to make a political statement he believed in. Well now, after a couple days we have had Kaepernick's first media session since initially talking about his protest and it gave a great insight into what he was thinking and hoping to say.

Here are a few highlights from NinersWire's transcript of Kaepernick's media session:

On whether he'll continue to sit:

KAEPERNICK: Yes. I’ll continue to sit. . . 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.

On what he wants to see changed in our country:

KAEPERNICK: There’s a lot of things that need to change. One
specifically? Police brutality. There’s people being murdered unjustly
and not being held accountable. People are being given paid leave for
killing people. That’s not right. That’s not right by anyone’s
standards.

On whether he feels like he's been oppressed:

KAEPERNICK: There have been situations where I feel like I’ve been
ill-treated, yes. This stand wasn’t for me. This stand wasn’t because
I feel like I’m being put down in any kind of way. This is because I’m
seeing things happen to people that don’t have a voice, people that
don’t have a platform to talk and have their voices heard, and effect
change. So I’m in the position where I can do that and I’m going to do
that for people that can’t.

When pressed about whether he's specifically had bad experiences that he feels are due to race:

KAEPERNICK: I’ve had times where one of my roommates was moving out of the house
in college and because we were the only black people in that
neighborhood the cops got called and we had guns drawn on us. Came in
the house, without knocking, guns drawn on my teammates and roommates.
So I have experienced this. People close to me have experienced this.
This isn’t something that’s a one-off case here or a one-off case
there. This has become habitual. This has become a habit. So this is
something that needs to be addressed.

And on whether or not he thinks he'll get cut over this:

KAEPERNICK: I don’t know. But if I do, I know I did what’s right. And
I can live with that at the end of the day.

You can read the whole transcript over at NinersWire. It's worth your time.

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