49er Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem on Friday

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I never would have predicted that in the summer of 2016, we would have two major stories about African-American athletes and their relationships with the National Anthem. The first athlete was Gabby Douglas, who was widely slammed and criticized for merely standing at attention (as opposed to standing with her hand over her heart) while the National Anthem played during the Olympics. The Gabby Douglas criticism was ridiculous, because she was so obviously not “disrespecting” anyone or anything. But this new story is different. San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick sat down for the anthem on Friday night, and he did on purpose, for a political reason. He told NFL.com why he sat out the anthem:

“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 Media in an exclusive interview 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.”

The 49ers issued a statement about Kaepernick’s decision: “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.”

Niners coach Chip Kelly told reporters Saturday that Kaepernick’s decision not to stand during the national anthem is “his right as a citizen” and said “it’s not my right to tell him not to do something.”

The NFL also released a statement, obtained by NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport: “Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem.”

[From NFL.com]

I’m actually a little bit shocked that the NFL is officially so “whatever” about this. I expected more of an “official” backlash against Kaepernick, but I guess he’s just going to get it everywhere else. Personally, I think it’s disrespectful to sit during the anthem and I think that’s the wrong use of one’s celebrity to make a political statement. The point of America – and the point of being an American – is that we still have work to do, that we will never be done, that the struggle continues, and the anthem is a moment to show pride in that struggle (for me, at least). Then again, Kaepernick is obviously politically active (dare I say “woke”), and sitting out the anthem has raised his profile considerably. His statement got widespread coverage and not just in sports media. And that was the point.

Photos courtesy of Getty, WENN.

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193 Responses to “49er Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem on Friday”

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  1. Locke Lamora says:

    I don’t know. I don’t see this as such a huge issue, but then again, I’m not American.
    I for one, appreciate a sport’s star putting his image on the line to send such an important message.

    • Kitten says:

      I’m American and I don’t see it as such a big issue. However, some Americans are already burning their Kaepernick shirts.
      Sigh.

      • Little Darling says:

        And I’m SURE he’s crying into his Cheerios over it. I mean, SO SILLY, those grown men look like fools burning his shirt, and posting the videos. Okay Mr. Murica.

      • Esmom says:

        I also don’t see it as a big issue but I could predict this outrage from the “more patriotic than thou set” a mile away.

        The thing is I am surprised, although I guess I shouldn’t be, about how many people are being either dense or disingenuous by ripping Kapernick as “not oppressed” because he’s a highly paid NFL player. Um, not his point at all.

      • Tiffany27 says:

        Right! Like, JFC people think they own patriotism. So the man wants to stay seated because he wants to take a stand against police brutality. LET THE MAN SIT. And to everyone burning his jersey, you had to buy those first which is money in his pockets so….

      • Soror Bro says:

        @Kitten: Burning them? I want to buy one.

        However, I agree with what one forum poster said about Kaepernick:

        “About the only thing I disagree with Kaepernick about is when, in an article today on NBC News, “Kaepernick acknowledged that some took his gesture as insulting the military but said ‘that wasn’t my intention at all’.” Despite Kaepernick’s belief it is way past the point that athletes as well as civilians start criticizing this sacred cow by informing people that the military is slaughtering innocent people overseas for no justifiable reason whatsoever. Since Muhammad Ali excoriated U.S. foreign policy during the Vietnam conflict some fifty years ago one would have to look long and hard to find any athlete today who will take the same courageous position in regard to U.S. militarism.”

      • Locke Lamora says:

        I also read on another site that people are claiming he can’t ne oppressed because he’s rich and from a white family. The mental gymanstics some people do to prove their ridiculous claims is astonishing.

      • liz_bee says:

        I was doing some work this morning, and someone sent me a link to some comments on an article I provided some information for. It addresses a conservative subject, so a lot of Facebook commenters/sharers are conservative. I was happy to see that they cared so much about the subject, but then I saw their profiles and I was grossed out. They’re all making fun of Kaepernick for being Muslim, saying he can’t touch a “pigskin”, just generally being nasty. Also lots of pro-Trump, anti-Clinton nonsense. I feel dirty.

    • detritus says:

      @ Locke, that’s how I feel.
      I’m not American, so maybe I’m missing something. If my nation had such publicised issues with race and gun violence, I wouldn’t be proud to be that either.

      He is straight up saying he is not proud to be American, right now. He doesn’t believe that his country supports the rights and freedoms of the people equally.
      I can’t hate on that, he has every right. Its actually awesome to see athletes stand for something larger and using their celebrity for something they believe in, rather than just chasing strange.

      It’s interesting to see how the NFL was like, hey we don’t love it, but we aren’t gonna fight it.

      • The DEEEH on Twitter says:

        @detritus I could immediately tell that you were not American because you showed empathy for people of color, which, as you can tell, is something America tends to refuse to do. Even this website is trying to say that Colin has no right to protest, and thats just sick.

    • Luca76 says:

      I’m American too. I have always hated the pledge of allegiance personally. I never said it in school because it seemed a rather empty gesture that had nothing to do with actual patriotism. Anyway good on him for speaking out.

      • Kitten says:

        Yeah me too. I never said the “God” part of the pledge when I was a kid–that was my small atheist rebellion ;)

      • Greenieweenie says:

        Me too. And I cannot stand people who loudly prioritize respect for a symbol of government over a government that shows respect for civil rights. No, no, no. Fight for your rights. More black athletes should do this because they are in a position of influence. And ultimately, you cannot argue against taking a stand on civil rights. MLK Jr fought the establishment–not the fringe. Muhammad Ali fought the establishment. Bravo to this guy for having the wherewithall to challenge the establishment. Lest we forget, the American flag stands as much for oppression as it does for freedom. A flag–a government–is only as good as its establishment.

      • Lama Bean says:

        @Greenieweenie,
        More people of every color should speak out about this stuff. That’s the only time change comes. As long as it is just black people speaking out, we will be seen as complaining about nothing.

      • Rebeca says:

        I come from a family of mostly atheists and agnostics except for my father. After watching Robin Williams stand up routine, instead of saying “under God”, my kids started saying, “under Canada and above Mexico.” At some point one of their teachers got mad and yelled at my daughter. I told her she could keep on doing it because their wasn’t anything that teacher could do about.

        This was a public school that really pushed Christianity. You could check out the bible in their library, but there were no other religious books. For awhile, the kids were made to sing mostly Christian songs in their Choir for the xmas thing they were having. I mean there was actually verses from the Bible in one of the songs. I, along with a Muslim family took them on. We filed a complaint. Our children would sit down and refuse to sing those songs. They had some type of law that if you sang a mixture of religious songs, you could teach the children to sing religious songs in choir. It was complete BS. Three-fourths of the songs were Christian.

        Anyway, we eventually succeeded in getting things changed so there were no more songs with verses from the bible our children had to sing.

        My point is, I get so sick of the religious and uber conservative pushing their beliefs on others and claiming it’s there religious freedom. They never see how it takes away the rights of others.

        I really appreciate when people like Colin K. take a stand like this and take the heat for it. It makes it easier for people like me to take a stand too.

    • Erinn says:

      Honest question:

      I’m Canadian, so I’m not sure here. But when I was in elementary school, we had a couple of classmates who were Jehovah’s Witnesses. They didn’t have to stand for the anthem in the mornings. Is that something that is taken into account in US schools/functions?

      • Little Darling says:

        Erinn, the answer depends on where you live, I believe it varies by state. Now, kids can opt out, but pressure to “fit in” and the occasional zealot teacher encourage them not to. This varies state to state, and depends on the school, the student, and the teacher; LEGALLY no one is required to recite the pledge, and the as far as the anthem, it’s considered disrespectful to not stand, but sitting is okay, but there also seems to be a loophole in it for religious exemptions, and no punishment seems to be handed down legally, although some jehovas witness children recently were suspended (expelled?) for not singing it. But it’s also not played with frequency like the pledge is said every day in American schools.

        Constitutionally there was a ruling in 1943 that says very clearly forcing a student to say the pledge was in violation of two rights. However, some schools/teachers have been known to try and force it (according to the news).

        “After divisive court battles, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an eloquent ruling in 1943, which is the prevailing law today, assuring students they do not have to recite or participate in the Pledge of Allegiance. The pledge under dispute in the case was accompanied by a “stiff-arm” salute. Students who did not salute were found guilty of “insubordination” and could be expelled. The Court ruled such abuses unconstitutional.”

      • Erinn says:

        Geez. I mean, at least ‘technically’ they don’t have to – but I can imagine there’s a lot of people abusing their power in the school system and making kids do it.

        I always found the whole thing so strange. I don’t see sitting quietly disrespectful in any way… but the same people that seem to be so outraged over that kind of thing seem to be the ones who keep their hats on, or who are completely disrespectful or other peoples’ religious freedoms.

        These kinds of topics remind me how lucky I am to have grown up where I did. Not to say we don’t have plenty of very loud, very obnoxious idiots as well – but they do seem to be spread out a little better.

      • detritus says:

        Jehovah’s in my school went to the hallway for it, it seemed strange at the time, but we have about 5 in each year at my highschool so at least they had company.

        I always hated the god portion of the national anthem, I don’t understand how as a non-secular society we require (or pressure) kids, athletes and everyone else to stand for something that they may not even completely agree with.

        I love my country, but I don’t really subscribe to Christianity, and that’s a part of the anthem.

      • CeeCee says:

        Erinn, Where I am, it’s state law to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day. True story! However, students who have religious objections don’t have to recite the Pledge.

        Usually, teachers know in advance because of the registration forms. I always check with the family about their specific preferences, because I want to know how I can show respect for their beliefs, make the child comfortable, and not undermine their teaching. In one situation, with the parent’s approval, I asked my student (6 year-old) to stand when the class did. That worked with that family, but it’s case-by-case. Some families would want their child to leave the room, and teachers are obligated to support that, no question about it. We want students and families to be comfortable and supported.

      • Sasha says:

        Legally kids can opt out. But I can’t see how 5-6 y.o. kid can actually have enough presence of mind to opt out or even understand what the choice means one way or another.
        I am an atheist and I don’t agree with forced allegiance either, allegiance can only be out of free will.
        But I never told my kids to opt out, I didn’t want them to be singled out and bullied.
        I just explained to them what is what when they were old enough to understand.

    • Lucinda says:

      I don’t have a problem with his choice. I don’t care. I think it’s disrespectful but it’s his choice but I think it’s a dumb choice. The people who already agree with him will praise him. However, the people (I assume) he is trying to reach and hope to convince are not going to react well to this. They are very proud of their country and many honestly don’t understand that there is still racial inequality because the don’t see it. Much like men don’t see sexism because men act differently around a woman if they see that woman “belongs” to another man. As a result, Kaepernick will only enrage the people he is trying to reach instead of managing to start a conversation. In my opinion, it will increase the divide instead of breaching it. It’s too bad because I respect what he’s trying to achieve and he certainly has a fan base that needs to be reached. Unfortunately, to reach them, common ground needs to be found first and disrespecting the national anthem is not the way to do that.

    • Ravensdaughter says:

      I respect someone who puts their career on the line to make a political statement. The history of African Americans in this country is abysmal, and there are still many wrongs that are nowhere near to being set right. And, as the Trump campaign has demonstrated, there are still many white Americans who don’t want to see those wrongs set right.
      No worries as to repercussions. The s–t will be hitting the fan very soon.

    • thecatpriest says:

      He is about to be cut, this gives him the option of playing the “I was let go for taking a stand” card. He had a great 1/2 season or so, and has been mediocre (at best) since.

    • iheartgossip says:

      CoSign 100%. I wish the citizens of the U.S. would get as cranked up about serious issues.
      The United States are about freedom; he exercised his freedom – and that is the part the Keyboard Judges forget about. And yes, the backlash is also people taking full advantage of their freedoms. Maybe sporting events shouldn’t use the National Anthem as their kick-off.

    • Sunnyjyl says:

      I agree. Stand, don’t stand. It should be up to the individual. This is not a scandal; scandals abound in this country, this is not one.

  2. Onerous says:

    My FB wall is flooded with people deriding his decision. My question for those people? How are you so outraged about this guy protesting during the National Anthem *at a sporting event* and you are not outraged by kids being killed in the street. Among the people I know, those who are pissed about this are not pissed about what is going on in this country in real life. It’s absurd.

    • Kitten says:

      Exactly. People are so effin ridiculous. SMDH.

    • jeanpierre says:

      Those people are telling on themselves.

    • Shark Bait says:

      Mine is too. Has anyone been bombarded with the meme of the soldier who lost his legs and is in a wheelchair, standing in his wheelchair for the anthem? Or the one about the other 49ers player (Coffee) who left football to serve in the military? False equivalency. According to the far right types, you can’t criticize America unless you served in the military. And to say he deserves his endorsement deals taken away and should be sacked from the team or fined for not standing for the national anthem? Do you really want to live in a country where you are punished for not standing for the anthem? Sure people can hate him and deride him, but why should the NFL make it mandatory?

      • Melody says:

        No one prevented his expression, but it is foolish to believe that the Freedom of Speech is Freedom from Consequences of Speech. He plays with a ball and makes millions – because of popularity. If he screws up his popularity, nothing prevents him from losing those millions that go along with playing with a ball.

      • Esmom says:

        Shark Bait, yes I’ve been hit with those memes. Funny how the people who post them don’t say anything and just expect it to do the talking for them. No discussion or dialogue whatsoever.

        Melody, I think Kaepernick fully realizes that and in fact has said it’s a risk he’s willing to take.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        I also find it interesting when I read comments and people say “he’s disrespecting the flag I defended”. It’s not like there was a war on American soil in the last 100 years. Apart from 9/11 America wasn’t actually at risk in the wars it fought.

      • mayamae says:

        @Locke, I agree with your sentiment. But, while Hawaii was only a territory at the time, the attack on Pearl Harbor was against the US Navy specifically, and thousands of our sailors died. At the time it was definitely considered an attack on American soil.

    • Marty says:

      And there it is. If you’re more concerned with how someone chooses to protest oppression then how the oppressed are being treated, it’s really just proving his point.

    • The Original Mia says:

      Exactly! I’m scrolling past those posts. They are the same folks posting All Lives Matter after police shootings, but saying nothing about the fact that black children are dying or being mistreated by grown ass men. Miss me with that faux outrage. I can’t stand Kaepernick, but I’ll fight tooth and nail for him to exercise his right not to stand during the anthem. These same folks were the same ones excoriating Gabby for not placing her hand over her breast during the singing of it as if she wasn’t wearing the damn stars and stripes on her body. Give me a break.

    • C. C. Cedras says:

      It’s election season so I hide a fair number of people on Facebook because I just don’t need that hyperbolic negativity in my life. However, a very close friend — a Canadian who’s been in the US for her entire adult life (at least 40 years), married to a US citizen and never applied for citizenship, doesn’t hesitate to post on FB her conservative political views ABOUT THE ELECTION that she will not be voting in.

      She was the most vitriolic poster yesterday about Kaepernick. I find this all so ironic. I’d love to have the conversation with her that his actions are his right as an American, but she knows this and doesn’t need to be told. And our friendship means more to me than making a point. I’ve got to choose my battles.

      • MCraw says:

        But those are the battles worth having. It will make it very clear that she’s on the wrong side of everything happening now. It’s these very conversations we try to have with white people, but they can really only hear it when you start checking yourselves. For far too long, people who say they are allies or say they sympathize keep it to themselves rather than speak up when a loved one spews hate, when it actually matters. Keeping silent keeps racism alive.

    • La Ti Da says:

      Its because we’ve been indoctrinated since kindergarten that to refuse is more than showing your dissatisfaction with a particular issue, but a rejection of every ideal of the United States. Which I personally think is ridiculous. Somehow that swatch of fabric and little ditty are more “American” than any citizen, historical or contemporary, ever was. They’re arbitrarily chosen symbols and I refuse to pledge myself to something with no more inherent meaning than the McDonald’s Golden Arches.

      Seriously think about what we are being forced, or simply “shamed”, into participating in. Everyday we PLEDGE OUR ALLEGIANCE to a swatch of fabric, and yet we have no say in exactly what that allegiance is. We can’t change the words, even omitting “God” is seen as a controversy to many, though we supposedly have the freedom to follow any religion or follow none. How exactly is being made to stand and recite an allegiance you have no part in drafting anything but indoctrination?

      I love my country and I recognize how blessed I am to have been born here, but part of that blessing is being able to freely worship, speak, and express yourself. I think the obsession is an end-run against a lot of those freedoms because it encourages us NOT to freely speak or express our dissatisfaction with the country in pubic spheres and at difficult times. An obligatory pledge of your allegiance during a time of conflict doesn’t seem to follow our most basic principles in my very humble and judgmental opinion.

      • Livvers says:

        Agreed, and furthermore I think it’s a little ironic that those symbols are elevated to such a degree that they are straight-up idolatry, considering the loudest “shame! Patriotism!” bleaters are also the ones who try to claim the US always was and will be a Judeo-Christian society, e.g. religions whose founding principles explicitly reject idols.

    • Lama Bean says:

      They are literally screaming at their right to have their players be patriotic at football games and that they shouldn’t be subjected to his disrespect because they are paying for football tickets.

    • Aren says:

      Very much agree.
      It’s the same with all “unpopular” (not aimed at white males) causes. People don’t get angry when murders, rape, or discrimination happens.

  3. felixswan2 says:

    Good for him.

  4. Nev says:

    Love it. Protest all the way.
    He is hotness.
    What’s really scary is the fans burning his jerseys and all that nonsense. Ugh.

    • V4Real says:

      Americans are so freaking ridiculous; they really are.
      Some of the same ridiculous people complaining about Colin probably don’t give a damn about racism or police brutality against minorities. They can all take a seat and drink a cup of shut the F up. When that song was created Blacks were still being treated as second class citizens and being brutalized by Whites. Land of the free home of the brave my ass.

  5. Realitycheck says:

    I am not American I am Canadian. There is way too much pride in the flag and the anthem and honestly it seems fake. I don’t blame him. When the fundamentals of a country are so screwed up how can you show the respect when it’s all smoke and mirrors?

    • original kay says:

      Fellow Canadian here.

      I agree 100% with you.

    • V4Real says:

      I’m American and I agree with you.

    • elle says:

      slow clap from another American.

    • Nic919 says:

      As a Canadian I have always found the pledge of allegiance and the hand over heart thing eerily similar to what is done in communist countries and places like North Korea. I don’t understand how most Americans don’t see the irony.

    • Rachel says:

      I’m an American also. And I’m so happy to see all these comments on here. I am just constantly overwhelmed by the hypocrisy of the segment of the population who decries someone who exercises their right NOT to stand of the national anthem or say the pledge of allegiance. When did we become a nation that values symbols of freedom over the ACTUAL protection of freedoms for everyone?? But if you point out this inconsistency, you’re un-American.

    • Scotchy says:

      Another fellow beige Canadian here and I also agree wholeheartedly, I don’t stand or sing the Canadian anthem as well as I feel like we need to be over singing to any flags that were built on colonialism. I want the future where everyone is everything and we all play nice with one another.. That’s going to happen right??? Ha.

    • Lama Bean says:

      Over here! I agree. And I’m American and Black.

    • MoonTheLoon says:

      Brava! I’m American-born, yet believe that country and nationality are all human constructs. It’s all just dirt, for feck’s sake! While this country carries on with the inherent fascism and jingoism, you’ll not find me standing up or putting my hand over my heart.

  6. Little Darling says:

    I’m impressed. I think his statement was choice. His actions stood behind it, and when questioned about it he gave a thoughtful, provocative answer to why he chose now to say anything. We need more of this type of activism.

    I also deeply appreciate that he said he took some time to think about everything, and how he was ready to lose endorsements and his career because In the end he did what was right for him.

    It is amazing, but not surprising at all, how many people are burning his jerseys and all of that.

    I love the NFLs statement as well.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      It is a perfect example of well-executed civil disobedience

    • Esmom says:

      I agree with everything you say. It’s ironic, however, that the people who are listening to what he has to say aren’t really the people who need to hear it. It’s the outraged internet commentariat who need to hear it but apparently are too busy screaming and burning their jerseys to even try to get his point.

      • Kitten says:

        This is exactly what I find so depressing.
        Also, this is another example of a faction of our population that the rest of the world will view as representative of all Americans.

        EDIT: Scrolling through the comments, maybe “faction” isn’t accurate…

  7. Squiggisbig says:

    Not really surprised at the NFL’s response, they have bigger fish to fry than wigging out at Colin exercising his rights.

    I find this whole thing very Ali-esque.

  8. Lilacflowers says:

    Good for him.

    I am still livid with the jingoistic morons who went after Gabby when they themselves clearly don’t know the rules.

    • Little Darling says:

      SHE IS SUPPOSED TO COVER HER HEART!!!!!

      Ummm, no, she isn’t. So ridiculous.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        And the ones screaming it are usually wearing a baseball hat of some sort on their heads when the anthem plays

    • Shark Bait says:

      I have never covered my heart during the national anthem, and I have gotten side eyes from people around me for not doing so. It’s not the pledge! I have even seen people do it during God Bless America at the seventh inning stretch.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        I’ve seen people do it during that “Proud to be an American, God Bless the USA” jingoistic dreck. I have no patience for it.

    • TeamAwesome says:

      I’m a choir director who has directed the national anthem more times than I can count. Every fiber of my being says stand with your hands by your side because that is how you stand when you sing in a group. Always.

      • lilacflowers says:

        And that is how people are supposed to behave when the anthem plays, unless they are members of law enforcement or the military wearing a uniform hat at the moment, in which case, they should place hand over heart. All other hats should be removed and held in the hand, down by the side, until the anthem ends.

  9. Maria says:

    I also think it is a difference if you would refuse while representing the USA in an international game. That would be hypocritical.

    But he is making his stand while playing for a professional team and if the team and league are okay with it, the public should too.

    I actually admire how the 49′ers and his coach respect his position. Especially as we all know that money and sponsorships are on the line.

    • HappyMom says:

      I agree. He’s not representing the U.S. at the Olympics. He’s his own person. Protest away.

  10. Samtha says:

    I don’t agree with his choice, but I’m more upset about the number of wife and girlfriend abusers (and accused rapists) still playing and being supported in the NFL.

    • Neal says:

      Colin had his own allegations in 2013. There was some shady business with a woman in Miami who woke up in a hospital after partying with him and Ricardo Lockett that had NO idea how she got there. No charges were filed, even though she went to the police, but it was a real weird. So knowing this, while I respect him for standing up for his convictions, I’m still going side eye him a little bit.

      • Crumpet says:

        Really. Maybe that has more to do with his sit down than anything else. America doesn’t necessarily let him get away with his shenanigans, so he’s going to be petulant.

      • Bridget says:

        Didn’t that turn out to be a total shakedown?

      • Neal says:

        @Bridget It was never clear (there were nasty things being thrown around by everyone) but with the NFL the way it is… who knows. That raises my eyebrows enough.

      • Bridget says:

        Didn’t it turn out that not only did they not have sex at all, but that Kaepernick completely left the apartment to avoid her?

      • Samtha says:

        Oh, interesting. There’s always something when it comes to famous men, isn’t there?

      • Lama Bean says:

        @Crumpet- really? seriously?

  11. Elisa the I. says:

    Good for him. Also, he is HOT!

  12. littlemissnaughty says:

    Yeah, whatever. I’m not American so I’ll never get the flag/anthem thing I guess. But the faux outrage is ridiculous. The man is not a disrespectful teenager who merely wanted attention by being a brat. He had something to say and he used a way he knew would get attention. You don’t get people’s attention by being polite, sadly. He knew this – of all things – would rile people up. His message wasn’t “F*ck America”, it was legitimate criticism.

  13. Christine says:

    Good for him. “I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”
    -James Baldwin

  14. QQ says:

    I don’t even F*ck with the NFL but just found the Player I’m going to root for.. This dude is BRAVE!! he articulated the F*ck out of what has baffled me about Leslie Jones,… to have that Love of Country , a country that treats you and your kind in this way is a STUNNING act of Love… a Capacity that I Myself Lack LOL also I want the squad that kept Transcending Ali to know that THIS is what Ali did, way less politely than my new Buddy Colin, here, was tell the good Ol’ country; NO THANK YOU AND THIS IS WHY I DECLINE while proceeding to list all the receipts…. I deeply admire this man taking the path of least resistance when we have the like of Cam Newton OJing it up and such.. and truly that is the expectation for successful black people .. is as though the implicit contract says ” We’re Gonna Let you Flourish, but you are henceforth neutered and muted to your most palatable shade of you”

    • Greenieweenie says:

      Exactly what I was thinking–nobody needs more OJs. Hopefully more black athletes will follow in kind. Or white ones too. But it’s a meaningless gesture of the black ones aren’t willing to protest themselves. The people flipping out over this are the same ones who flip out over riots after police shootings. What really offends them is anyone daring to challenge oppression in any way. You can’t do it peacefully. You can’t do it unpeacefully. You can’t challenge, ever.

    • Kimberly says:

      YES!!! QQ! Preach! It is astounding how some Americans go on and on about American freedom, but when someone expresses their freedom – in protest – they are no longer American. That is a fascist way of thinking, the need to control/conform others, which is the exact opposite of our countries foundation.

  15. Betsy says:

    It’s just dumb. Is there a country anywhere on planet earth with a perfect record on every issue?

    And come on, guy. You play for the NFL with its darling record of equality, appropriately addressing domestic abuse committed by its players, and other such things. Let’s not pretend you’re all that socially aware when you’re cool with playing for that group. But I guess hating women is fine.

    • Greenieweenie says:

      Red herring.

      And yes, there are many countries that have a better record on civil rights. Because they didn’t institutionalize slavery.

      • Betsy says:

        You think sexism and the institutionalized craptastic treatment of women is a red herring? I can’t even.

        Find me one country for which you could stand up for one hundred percent of its track record. Not just on race, but on everything. It doesn’t exist.

    • Lama Bean says:

      I think Greenie is saying your original argument about any country having a perfect record on human rights is a red herring. And I agree with her.

    • Ayra. says:

      Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  16. QueenB says:

    i support his choice. its good that he uses his platform for important issues. what i do see as negative is that he does not mention all the other people outside of the usa being oppressed by that country. its not only american citizens who matter.

    • Kitten says:

      Sigh.
      Ok but you and Betsy are both insinuating that he has some sort of obligation to advocate for everyone and everything, when really he does not. This is a small, benign gesture meant to highlight a cause that is important to him. Now all of a sudden, that’s not enough and he should be doing more?

      • Snowflake says:

        This. Ridiculous

      • Betsy says:

        I’m not insinuating anything of the sort. I’m saying that to me his protest seems disingenuous given the way that SPECIFICALLY the NFL treats women. The way off field domestic abuse by players is given a near total pass by the NFL where other, tony behavioral infractions result in actual punishment. That scantily clad cheerleaders a) exist and b) basically aren’t paid. That’s two off the top of my head. Great that he wants to send a message that African Americans in the US are still not treated equitably, let alone well. It’s an important message. Just seems a bit outside the scope of the organization through he’s protesting, especially when there are stinking rotting dogs within.

      • Kitten says:

        I still completely disagree that his actions are somehow insincere or contradictory because of the NFL’s treatment of women, Betsy. That makes no sense to me at all–it actually feels like derailment TBH.

        I mean, I might be inclined to agree with you if he was protesting the NFL, but he’s not. He’s making a statement about the way PoC are treated in this country (includes black women, BTW) but they’re essentially two separate issues.

        Do you get angry with NFL athletes when they wear pink gloves/sneakers/socks/etc in support of breast cancer awareness? It’s the same concept: athletes publicly supporting causes that are meaningful to them.

        Not that I disagree with your opinion about the NFL, I just don’t see how it’s relevant in this scenario.

    • …what?

      How would an act of civil disobedience about the treatment of American citizens IN America during a repetitive show of allegiance have any room for discussions on everyone being oppressed everywhere else?

      #notyourmule

  17. Sam says:

    Obviously, he has the right to do it, and on some level, I admire that he’s willing to do it.

    That being said, I think it’s dumb as rocks.

    The problem now is that everybody isn’t talking about the issues he’s actually trying to address. They’re talking about HIM. He’s not drawing attention to the actual relevant issues, he’s drawing attention to himself. I personally take the opinion that when one is a public figure like this, symbolic gestures are largely counter-productive because they make the figure into the issue and draw attention away from what’s actually at stake.

    In addition, I feel like directing his ire towards the National Anthem and flag is pretty dumb. Somebody online elsewhere pointed out that African Americans are actually overrepresented in the military and are more likely than their white counterparts to be veterans. If Colin believes that the flag represents an oppressive nation for these people, what does that imply about the black veterans who served under it and believe in it? As one of my colleagues (who is a black veteran) asked “Is he saying I’m some kind of patsy or fool because I loved serving the nation that flag represents? Did he even think about that before he did this?” And I kind of agree with him, I think he makes a valid point.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      But why is the anthem synonimus with the military? That’s quite a strange thing.

      • Sam says:

        I think because the US anthem is basically a military song. Have you ever listened to it? It’s a war song. It was written expressly about a battle. I think for that reason, it’s generally associated with the military. When it’s performed at NFL games, it generally coincides with some kind of military salute as well.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        Most national anthems are war/battle/rebel songs. Mine isn’t, but that’s a rarity. But I’m not sure they are all so associated with the military.

      • Shark Bait says:

        Apparently everything ties in with the military. You can’t criticize America unless you have served, according to some people. There are black veterans and black cops, that doesn’t mean that systematic oppression and police brutality aren’t serious issues. You can still serve your country and want it to improve and make positive changes for all citizens. Members of the military fight and sometimes die to defend America, no one disputes this. However, that doesn’t mean that they are the end all be all to this country. What about civil rights leaders who are working for change, people working to build up communities, scientists and researchers, teachers, farmers? Citizens working in this country to make it better everyday? Do we not represent the flag and all it stands for? Does the anthem not apply to us? It always goes back to the military with certain people (and they are usually on the right). The flag, the anthem, disrespecting them apparently means disrespecting active duty, veterans and those who died in combat according to these people and frankly I’m sick of it. Other countries do not have this kind of mindset. I have many veterans in my family and two of my high school friends were killed in Afghanistan, so I do not discount the importance of the military or the sacrifices they make. However I am so tired of this notion that the flag and the anthem and patriotism represent the US military and any criticism of the country or these acts of patriotism is an act of disrespect to the military, or that you can’t criticize the great old U S of A if you haven’t served.

      • Sam says:

        Are they, though? Canada’s isn’t (that’s the other one I’ve familiar with). The German one isn’t anymore – heck, you’d be hard pressed to even HEAR the German one a great deal anymore.

      • Sam says:

        Shark Bait: You’re responding to a point nobody made. Lebron James, among others, have made excellent protests in public. I don’t think people are attacking Colin for supporting BLM, although some people would hold it against him either way. People are upset with the manner of the protest. The flag and national anthem, whether we like it or not, are among the strongest symbols of America – and for a lot of people, that includes the American ideals, which many people, including a large number of POC, believe in. POC veterans typically serve for the same reasons as white veterans – because they believe in the ideals of the country, even if those ideals are not always met. And the national anthem and flag are probably the two strongest representations of that. So I think the question does remain about, if this is the method of protect he’s chosen, what that then means for his opinions of POC who disagree with him, who do choose to serve and who hold the anthem and flag in high esteem.

        ETA: I should add that some of the most vicious abuse I’ve ever seen is directed at POC cops and veterans. The slurs they get are genuinely awful and should make any decent person ashamed. I have no time for anybody who will attack somebody for the job they choose to do.

      • Sasha says:

        “Most national anthems are war/battle/rebel songs. ”

        Russian goes something like this – “Russia, our great country. Your glory is ours for all the time .”
        Not modest by any stretch but not a battle song. ))

        In general it is reserved only for state functions. Using the anthem for entertainment events would be considered disrespectful.

      • original kay says:

        @ Sam

        I’m Canadian. “Oh Canada we stand on guard for thee”. sounds pretty war song to me.

      • Nic919 says:

        The Canadian anthem was first written in French then translated to English later on. It wasn’t an official anthem until the 60s because prior to that God Save the Queen was used.

        It is not a war anthem nor was it composed dung a time of war, unlike the US anthem, which was written during the War of 1812… A war the US didn’t actually win because they tried to take over Canada and got the White House burned down instead.

      • holly hobby says:

        Yes the Star Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key during the battle at Fort McHenry. Also: “The Star-Spangled Banner” was recognized for official use by the United States Navy in 1889 (wiki). So yes, it’s closely aligned with the military.

        Frankly, it’s his right to protest whatever he wants. I only wish he would play better. The niners are a joke (former 9ers fan here).

      • Solanacaea (Nighty) says:

        Portugal’s last verses are: “grab the weapons, for the country fight, against the canons, march, march”; it used to be “against the british, march, march” around the time of the Pink Map, when England threatened to invade Portugal… We changed it to canons when peace was signed… Pretty military and of war…

      • Solanacaea (Nighty) says:

        Wrong place…

      • Crox says:

        Slovenian anthem is about peace on Earth. I think that is pretty rare among anthems. They usually praise their own nation (I mean that in a good way). Needless to say the conservatives are trying to get it changed.

    • Aiobhan says:

      @Sam This and your later comment is not the main reason why so many POC and even poor whites are in the military. It may come to mean something to them later on, but most people enter the military because it may be their only option to survive. In exchange for signing over your life to the government, you are getting paid and trained as a soldier. You have access to food, shelter, and clothing for yourself, you also have an opportunity to send money home to your family to help them out. Once you do your time, you can either try to find a job outside of the military or stay and move up the ranks. Please do not romanticize the military and what they are doing to poor communities.

      The flag and the anthem are not the strongest symbols of America. The people who were born here came here and choose to live and die here are the strongest parts of America. Not a dated song and a flag that has changed several times since the beginning of this country.

  18. Emily says:

    I don’t understand the backlash, because isn’t this what free speech is all about? He did it for a reason, and he seems prepared for the backlash he knew was coming to him. Whether or not sitting for the anthem is the best way to make his point is worthy of debating.

    I’m surprised the NFL, which is so anal about how athletes appear on game day, doesn’t have anything to say about it.

    • Snowflake says:

      Well, in some people’s minds he should be grateful for what he’s got and IMO, they think he should “know his place.”

      • Emily says:

        Which, as we both recognize, is an equally stupid argument. That rich people (or people taking advantage of the fact that they’re very good at a game), or adopted people (yes, I have seen ignorant posts saying that because his parents are white he can’t possible feel personally oppressed) should for some reason just shut up and never complain?

  19. Kori says:

    Colin has been on the cutting/trading blocks for awhile. Now he will have something to blame besides his own skill level and inability to get along with management. I think he is an ass. I agree with Kaiser about his actions. I have more respect for the Lebrons, Wades, Carmelos et al who have spoken forcibly, given money and raised attention without disrespecting the entire country and the flag and actually trying to affect change rather than be all about them. As for the flag I think it shouldn’t be disrespected because as Americans it’s the only thing really linking us. We are so diverse in every respect–religion,ethnicity, ancestry even our language is an amalgam of different languages, we don’t have a monarch. I was pretty outraged and it isn’t faux outrage. I’m not a love it or leave it, I don’t think he should be fired and given death threats or have his jersey burned. I thought the Gabby thing was so much bs and I support BLM. But this does bother me and I don’t need to apologize for my feelings either.

    • Snowflake says:

      This. Ridiculous

    • Crumpet says:

      Well said. I agree.

    • Robin says:

      I agree. The only aspect of his play that’s being talked about is the lack of it as he sits on the bench game after game. After getting off to a promising start a few years ago, he’s gone straight downhill as a player, and he’s not getting a lot of attention. Now he is, and he now also has an excuse if the 49ers cut him and no other team picks him up.

      • holly hobby says:

        He was hot for one minute. His streak ended when the cheap niners fired Jim Harbaugh and hired a second rate butcher. Having grown up watching the greats (Montana, Young, Rice, Lott), this was very hard to stomach. I am no longer a fan. Colin should watch his back because the Cheap Yorks will cut him as soon as they can.

    • Aiobhan says:

      Are you his accountant? Do you go through his statements every month to see if he has given any of his money to any charity? If not, then it is not safe to assume you know how much- if any of his money he gives to charity.

      It is also not ok to put what Carmelo, Wade, and Lebron are doing to what Colin is doing. They are all trying to achieve the same goal but in different ways. He is hardly disrespecting the entire country. He is making a few hypocrites and racists uncomfortable, which is exactly what civil disobedience is supposed to do.

      The goal posts shifting on what is acceptable and not acceptable way to protest is getting crazy. The outraged are preaching freedom and liberty for all, until someone challenges them. Then they are just being disrespectful. Funny, those college kids at the lunch counters were called the similar things as to what Colin is being called now.

    • Patty says:

      Um. Except he wasn’t disrespecting the country or the flag. He sat during the national anthem, as he has every right to. It’s not mandatory to stand during the anthem.

    • lilacflowers says:

      1. He is not disrespecting the flag.
      2. And most importantly, the flag is not what links us. The Constitution of the United States of America is what links us.

  20. roses says:

    He’s been woke! One of the few ones in the NFLthat is.

    • Olivia Tadke says:

      Yet with all his $$ networth he has not made one cent contributions to black lives that mattered during our recent Louisiana flooding or any other charitable organization . Put your money where your mouth is, it was all for show how to push civil unrest.
      He is just a George Soros puppet

      • MellyMel says:

        And you know this how?! Not every celebrity makes their donations public. I actually respect people more when they don’t because then it’s because they genuinely care and not for attention. Girl bye!

  21. Melody says:

    A country that allowed him to have a privileged upbringing, educated him, enabled him to attain a level of professional celebrity that many countries deny to minorities and yes- it has some serious flaws. Is he waiting for a perfect system of government before he shows the most basic respect or gratitude? What an entitled fuc4. His right to expression, but the words would be more effective from someone else.

    • Kitten says:

      So is that what you would tell every white person who attends a BLM rally? That we should all take our privileged asses home because this issue doesn’t directly affect us? We should all be ok with American law enforcement’s continual slaughtering of innocent black lives because this country has been good to us?

      He’s using a platform and his privileged upbringing to speak about something meaningful to him but somehow that’s a negative?

      Sigh. I really don’t get it but then again, this is the country who chose Trump as a presidential candidate so maybe it’s time I just accept that I’ll never understand most Americans.

      • Melody says:

        No, that wasn’t my point at all. Attending a rally of something you support is vastly different from publicly disrespecting something that has given you enormous benefits – though with its own flaws. Let him attend rallies, let him speak out, but public disrespect is something else.

    • “Allowed”

      I thought that was one of those rights that your country proudly trumpets as being available to every man, woman, and child?

      • Melody says:

        It is one of those rights. And he gets to exercise it. I will not be heralding him as a woke hero though. He persuaded no one who didn’t already agree with him. And the point I was making that you missed is that under his way of thinking, there is no country to which he would show basic respect and when a privileged person feels entitled to show no respect to a country that has given him many opportunities because that country also has some serious flaws – it’s despicable to me.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      That makes no sense whatsoever. By that logic, no successful person would ever be allowed to criticize the system. Or run for office, for that matter. Have you listened to political campaigns? They all love their country to death except for all the terrible terrible things they will fix. Come on. Btw, the country “allowed” him to become successful? That’s not condescending at all. People who love their country criticize it because they want to improve it. Those who tell them to sit down are usually part of a privileged group who benefits from the status quo.

      • Melody says:

        I never said they couldn’t criticize. Criticizing is a basic and valuable right. What he did goes beyond criticism. It was disrespect.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        That’s you opinion. There’s always someone who feels disrespected when criticism is voiced. What else what he supposed to do that would get this much attention?

    • Snowflake says:

      All those perks arent going to keep some racist cop from shooting him. Money and perks arent everything. it sounds like he just wants to be treated like white citizens and not have other members of his race shot for obeying police officers. What’s wrong with that? Hard to feel like an American when you’re not treated like everyone else. Trust me, some racist cop isn’t going to give him a pass cause he’s “spoiled”. That cop will just see a black man. No amount of perks can substitute for the feeling of being treated as an equal.

      • Melody says:

        Nothing wrong with wanting to fix that problem- but this persuaded no one and quite possibly hurt his cause.

    • k says:

      This makes no sense, just because he grew up privileged doesn’t mean he can’t protest or have an opinion. Beyonce grew up extremely privileged too is she not allowed to express her feelings either?

      The First Amendment doesn’t say for those who aren’t privileged, it is for all. We have the right to speak, you have the right to disagree and tell him you find him disrespectful. You can refuse to buy his jersey, heck you can burn his jersey if you so choose, you can not support his team, etc but to say he can’t say it is not true. He can how he grew up has no barring on if he can.

    • HK9 says:

      The first sentence in your reply says a lot. The fact that he’s an American citizen but he’s been ‘allowed’ to have a position. His ‘privilege’ will still get him shot because of the colour of his skin, and by the way, I do believe he actually worked and trained for what he has. The government didn’t hand it to him.

      • Melody says:

        I said it that way for a reason. There is so much rampant and blatant racism against black people around the world that to show so much disrespect for the country that has done better than so many, especially for him – and is still trying to improve – is idiotic in my opinion.

      • HK9 says:

        The problem Melody is that the United States has not done better. They still show blatant disrespect to black people living in their country every day. They are killed without impunity in 2016. “Being respectful” is not returned in kind on any level of government (or in society in general) and if it is you’re ‘lucky’. The blatant racism is practiced and institutionalized in the US and being nice about it hasn’t improved the situation.

    • Elleno says:

      In addition to being tone deaf, your post reminds me of a meme one of my republican friends just posted on Facebook; it was a pic of Colin K flanked by two white people and said “Here is Colin K being oppressed by white people…oh wait that’s his parents” and then had an “inconvenience truth” comment under it, as if he was busted for something. This is so far off base. Colin identifies as black, or a man of color, and likely was on the receiving end of subtle forms of racism every day of his life. I’m sure his parents were great people, but that doesnt change how he experiences life.

      • Melody says:

        That’s the uncharitable way you chose to read what I wrote, not what I actually wrote. I’m blue in state and in politics, but I also believe in showing basic respect for cultural norms and persuading people by first showing respect. He chose neither. He’s no hero to BLM – he made things worse.

      • HK9 says:

        African-Americans are just that-Americans. They are part of the cultural norm-from the food you eat, to the clothes you wear, to the music you listen to and the language you speak has been directly influenced to their contributions to the country. If you think of them as the ‘other’ that contributes to the problem. They built the USA along with everyone else. The subtext in your comment, is that if black people do exactly everything they’re told (ie: not be human) than everything will be ok. We know this is not the case.

        As for Colin Powell, his family is from Jamaica. Which means, his background is probably European(English-Scotish-Irish-German-Portugese)+African+Native Indian+Jewish. They are made up of many ethnicities. That’s where my family is from so there’s lots of history for that but there you have it. Our family trees literally look like the rainbow which is a ‘gift’ from colonization.

    • Gina says:

      +1000. Good luck with any endorsements. To me it’s a matter of respect for our country, which could be a helluva lot worse, as well as respect for our fellow men and women in the militaty which some died for our country to keep it safe. Let him do one tour in military in wore torn countries and see his opinion change. Wont happen tho. Whatever.

      • HK9 says:

        If an athlete, who according to some on this thread is not playing well, decides to protest endangering endorsements and the career he worked all his life to get, you have to know that the situation he’s referring to must be really really bad.

      • Patty says:

        Not standing for the national anthem as little do with showing respect for the military. Look at our elected officials. Seriously take your pick, they stand for the anthem, wear flag lapel pins, and want to rah rah rah the military. But when push comes to shove, they aren’t actually doing anything except paying lip service. They won’t actually do anything to show true support for the military by making sure that our servicemen and women have adequate pay, insurance, benefits, and proper care and support when they come back from warzones.

        These people care more about the symbol than the values and ideals behind the symbol. That’s more disrespectful than anything CK did.

  22. JK3 says:

    He’s politically active, but I wouldn’t say that makes him politically informed. I saw an recent interview where he basically spouted out every anti-Clinton meme/anti-Trump meme that you could find on twitter. I don’t agree with his decision, but I’m not going to rake him through the coals for it.

  23. Yea i dont stand or put my hand up for the pledge or national anthem or watev….. this country is ridiculous. … my thoughts as a young black woman

  24. Sasha says:

    This whole flag/anthem thing before sports can’t be understood by anyone else. It is so over the top. People make fun of Russians for their patriotism/ nationalism but has anyone took a look at the Americans? The whole pledge of allegiance and under God for every school kid in the morning? The anthem ? The flags everywhere?
    Why should anyone be coerced into pledging allegiance to their country and the God on top of it? Daily?

    The bottom line – good for him standing for what he believes in.

  25. Sayrah says:

    I think this is a fine way to draw attention to the BLM movement. The people burning his jerseys are ridiculous. This isn’t Germany in 1939. We don’t force nationalism here.

    For Colin though, he’s not the starting qb at the 49ers anymore because his playing has been awful since his super bowl season. He may even get cut and it won’t be because of his protest.

  26. Can’t be forced to give a twirling nunchuck.

    I’m glad I haven’t been in a position to perform the national anthem in quite a while, with all the bull happening around the country lately in so many ways I’d probably sit down too.

    I do think your interpretation of the anthem representing the struggles of Americans is interesting Kaiser, not saying good or bad, just never saw it represented or felt that way about it. It’s always seemed a “This is America, aren’t we so great” moment of pride.

    Which is fine if you are proud of the country, but I think for a lot of individuals their pride has been zapped lately.

  27. K says:

    first and not the point but he is hot.

    Second this is free speech and freed of expression, he has very right to do this and if he feels strongly enough to do this and is willing to face the consequences for expressing his feelings, which he seems more then willing to do, then go do it.

    This is a principle America was built on and there is nothing negative to say.

  28. thaliasghost says:

    I’m so sad about how times have changed about this in my own country. Just read an interview with an immigrant professional athlete from Germany who talked about how not singing the anthem upt until the 90s had never been a problem – because nobody would have dared to sing it. Fast forward to now and athletes are criticized in Germany for not singing the anthem (absurd). We really have forgotten our history. For decades Germans have made fun of American hurrah patriotism and now it is done here while Americans are getting “woke”.
    Kudos to this guy.

  29. Miss Jupitero says:

    American here, and I have no problem with his taking a stand. This is a matter for the individual conscience. If people can’t take a stand, how anything change? Good for him, I say.

  30. Marty says:

    I think we shouldn’t be telling people how to protest issues that directly affect them.

    I want to also point out that after the game a reporter asked Colin if he was going to be fearful when he’s out on the road now. Which if that doesn’t speak to the sorry state of this country, I don’t know what does. That someone can’t even protest oppression and police brutality without fear of retaliation is horrifying.

  31. DavidBowie says:

    Good for him.

  32. Rhiley says:

    He is exercising his freedom of speech. And since the NFL is funded by American tax dollars he is within his rights.

  33. Rapunzel says:

    I’m from Kapernick’s hometown in CA. The backlash is brutal around here. But, I don’t care. The fascist “muricans” who want to dictate everyone’s behavior and demand patriotism need to stop. Now. It’s actually unamerican.

  34. Craig says:

    Do I disagree with him? Yes.

    Do I find his behavior rude and offensive? Yes

    So what.

    This is America. Get over it.

  35. daisyfly says:

    Either you believe in the right to free speech/right to protest…

    Or you believe in fascism.

    You don’t have to AGREE with it, but you do have to support the individual or group’s right to do so. There is no gray area here. We’re either a country of rights and freedoms as stated in the constitution of the United States of America…or we’re not.

  36. Jen43 says:

    Eh. I don’t think the national anthem should be played at sporting events. I don’t see the point.

  37. Angela says:

    Is this within his rights – yes. Lucky for him he lives in America. In other countries he would be in jail or worse. He is so fortunate to live in the US. Does the US have problems -yes. I don’t think that this type of statement helps anyone though. What was accomplished ? Will it help those who are dying in Chicago? Will it make minorities feel better? If the country is so bad for minorities why do they continue to want to come and stay in the US? This type of statement only makes the divide greater – it helps no one . For those who fight for freedom and then a rich entitled young man refuses to stand – ok you made your point things will certainly get better now.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      I’m not sure all minorites “wanted” to come and stya in the US.

    • Solanacaea (Nighty) says:

      Actually there are 19 countries that are more free than the US, US ranked 20th, one of the reasons being the inequalities between black and white people…
      Plus, I agree with Locke, most minorities, especially black people were taken to the US as slaves, not by their own choice. And if, and I’m sorry to say this, if the US is the land of the free and righteous, why is it wrong for him to defend that freedom by protesting in this way?

    • Greenieweenie says:

      Rich and entitled because he’s using his position of influence to make a statement for a community that he is a part of–a community that is disproportionately subject to civil rights abuses? What planet are you from? This is not entitled behavior. Wanting equal rights is not entitled behavior. Equal rights are STATUS QUO. EVERYONE should get them. You’re legally and morally entitled–they’re not a privilege that you wrongfully lay claim to. If white Joe Blo over there gets the benefit of the doubt when he’s pulled over by cops, then Philando Castile gets the same. That’s not acting entitled. This comment is gross. Grow up. Learn to think.

  38. Neal says:

    Gah. Wrong place. My comment. Not Colin.

  39. mellie says:

    I don’t really care one way or another, what I do care about is how much stock we put in the opinions of sports figures and television personalities and how much stock these people think they have. I’ve said it before on here, so many of them are soooo unintelligent. Yes, let’s discuss fashion, gossip, music, movies that are about them all damn day, but when it comes to a political agenda or current world events, I’m not taking any advice from any of them without a little bit of research. So sure, every one of these millionaires (who wouldn’t give any of us the damn time of day if we fell over in front of them on street) deserves their say in life and deserves the right to take a stand on an issue, but I’m not listening…I’m just watching them act, sing, play or perform. At the end of the day that’s what they are paid to do, just as I’m paid to do a job each day.

  40. Lucky jane says:

    Because this is America he can stand or not stand… That’s his right. It’s my right and other’s to say it’s rude. Nope, things aren’t perfect… Doesn’t mean I am going to be disrespectful.

  41. Tallia says:

    This coming from the guy who was fined for using racial slurs in last years Bears game.

    • MellyMel says:

      He was accused of calling ANOTHER black player the N word after that player called him one, among other things. He challenged that calling and if I’m not mistaken didn’t get in trouble. But even if he did, I don’t see what on field banter between players had to do with this story and what he did.

  42. Stefanie says:

    I don’t know…this patriotism feels super strange to me and rarely ever anything is positiv about it. In my country, where patriotism led to nationalism and resulted in hate, killings and pure evil in the past many people do not care for an national anthem and most athletes do not care too. Being proud just because I am from X country is a strange concept to me…what exactly have you accomplished? If you were lucky and born in the western world be grateful and aware that you have a high living quality because more then half of the rest of the world starves and is living in hell. Proud? I do not think so…

  43. KellzBellz says:

    Yes to him, and YES to the NFL’s reaction. I have never stood for nor sang the national anthem in my entire life (not sure if i know the words), nor have I ever participated in the pledge of allegiance. It seems to only make sesnse for someone who chose to become a citizen. I was born here – no choice, no pride, no “allegiance.”

  44. Cinderella says:

    He is nothing more than an attention-seeking ass whose career is on the slide. He could have expressed his outrage in other platforms that don’t involve basically spitting on your country and the people who work hard to try to keep our it safe. Yes, we have huge internal problems that need to be fixed, but what he is doing sends an even more dangerous message to the world. He has no clue.

  45. Ghettomilkshake says:

    People also do realize that the poem from which the Star Spangled Banner has a stanza celebrating the deaths of slaves that joined up with the British to get their freedom right?

    • Ayra. says:

      Don’t tell some of the people under Colin’s comments that. They’d still say slavery was a part of history and that the US has moved on from that. My personal favorite are the people saying that the anthem is being “twisted” to justify him not standing up for it

  46. Solanacaea (Nighty) says:

    I have a question, since I’m not american, you have to stand up for your national anthem at schools every morning before classes? (It’s what I’m getting from the few posts I’ve read)… Never have I seen such behaviour in my country (except from when it was a fascist dictatorship)…

    • Syko says:

      It depends on the school. I never had to, my kids never had to, but I understand there are schools that, if not “require”, at least “urge” it.

      As for Kaepernik, never been a fan, don’t think he’s hot. But I have a little more respect for him now.

    • Sasha says:

      The Pledge of allegiance, which is an oath , has to be recited every morning at school. It is a state law here in Texas.

  47. Kate says:

    Hes perfectly within his rights. I do hope that he won’t be like many celebrities who make empty gestures for publicity. I do hope that he will take some positive action towards affecting change beyond just sitting during the national anthem. And I do hope that he will continue to use the platform afforded to him by the NFL for good. Like him, dislike him. That doesn’t matter. He does have power and influence because of his status as an NFL player and sports celebrity.

  48. MellyMel says:

    Some of these comments have so much underhanded racism, it’s disgusting. People calling his actions dangerous? Like a grown man sitting down and not singing a song that glorifies slavery (google it) is more dangerous than cops shooting innocent people or a potential President who is eager to use nuclear weapons? Lol the mental gymnastics going on is hilarious I swear!

  49. Spiderpig says:

    People actually care about this nonsense? Americans are weird.

  50. Syd says:

    If you have the fame and money (for Pete’s sake) do more with it than sit down! Be INVOLVED by donating time and other resources- otherwise you’re really just a blow hard. People with far less have given more because their hearts are TRULY in it for change.

  51. rudy says:

    It is HIS choice. It harms NO ONE. Leave the man be.

  52. jinglebellsmell says:

    My family (mom and dad’s side) has had seven men AND one amazing woman die in a war or killed in active duty, one within the past five years. Some were black, some were white, one was mixed, like me.

    Yep. I have a problem with him sitting because this punk either doesn’t know or care how this type of action is an absolute gut wrenching insult to military personnel. Military personnel who, while busting their butts serving and grunting, wait a whole week with bated breath so they can watch NFL football on Sunday and get a little break and slice of home.

    And yep, I do believe that Black men AND women are treated like trash by police in most situations and that we as a country have a problem with it.

    There were dozens of other ways he could have spoken out against the injustices against Black men and women with his money and ability to get interviews and news coverage.

    You don’t just throw everyone else under the bus with your lack of respect.

    Never was a fan of his, definitely won’t be now.

  53. Lefay1 says:

    The flag is tied to our military. You want to protest that is fine, but he basically slapped
    His brothers and sisters of color in the face. He disrespected those who have bled and died for this country. To not be proud of what is happening is one thing. His choice of protest was not a smart one.

  54. Craig says:

    Does he really think the rest of us all stand because we think America is perfect?

    Does he really think putting your hand over heart represents approval of police brutality?

    LeBron James and Michael Jordan were able to voice their opinions in a far more constructive way without indicting all their fellow citizens.

  55. Tallia says:

    Might have meant more if he wasn’t fined in December during the Bears game for using racial slurs.

  56. Elle says:

    I think it’s crazy you all do that pledge thing every day of school. it’s like a spooky novel.

  57. GoLightly says:

    If you’re a 49er fan, then you know about Colin Kaepernick. He’s one of those guys who thinks everyone is against him, even though he’s lived a somewhat charmed life. He also has had quite a, um, messy romantic history. So I’m not sure if I’m surprised that his typically immature self is suddenly trying to make this very bold statement.