For Colin Kaepernick, life goes beyond football

Colin Kaepernick has been protesting for months, without much attention — until now. A quick scroll through his twitter feed will display a message that’s been there all along: he believes Black lives are disposable in the eyes of the law.

On Friday night, before kickoff against the Green Bay Packers, the 49ers quarterback sat. Perched in front a Gatorade cooler, in the midst on a crowded stadium he sat alone, silent.

 

what so proudly we hailed
at the twilight’s last gleaming,

Proudly.

“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 told NFL.com after Friday’s match. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.”

Kaepernick now has our attention, but how is his message being interpreted?

New York Giants offensive lineman Justin Pugh decided to respond to Kapernick’s action by sharing his own convictions.

Texans CB Charles James II responded by asking:

Pugh’s rebuttal:

The 49ers issued a statement saying, “The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”

The NFL also clarified that “players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem.”

Kaepernick’s actions are not about disrespecting those who have bravely fought for our country. His silent protests are for those who have unwillingly lost their lives on this soil.

O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

The question has been posed and one quarterback has answered. This will not be the land of the free until Americans with dark skin can live without a target on their backs.

Sorry, Hasselbeck — football can wait. There are more pressing issues at hand.

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