By Laura Wetherbee
NFL player Colin Kaepernick has been causing quite the controversy in the news lately by refusing to stand for the playing of our country’s national anthem prior to his games with the San Francisco 49ers.
The quarterback is peacefully protesting the oppression of black people and people of color in America after witnessing months of civil unrest in the U.S.
Kaepernick recently decided he wanted to be more actively involved in advocating for people of color, and is well aware what he is doing will not sit well with many people.
According to Eoghan Macguire‘s article on edition.cnn.com, Kaepernick said he has received death threats for his actions. Most of said threats are related to this misperception Kaepernick is intentionally insulting veterans and current members of our armed forces with his protests. But he is often quick to clarify.
“There’s a lot of racism disguised as patriotism in this country,” Kaepernick told the media.
He also discussed Terrence Crutcher in the article, the African-American man who was recently gunned down by police in Tulsa, Okla. “That’s a perfect example of what this is about,” said Kaepernick.
Through their website, the NFL announced their support for Kaepernick, stating his decision not to stand is his “right as a citizen.” The NFL also released a statement explaining players are encouraged to stand during the national anthem, but are not required to (stand).
Other athletes have joined Kaepernick in the effort to raise awareness for issues affecting minorities in the U.S. These athletes include: LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade, and Carmelo Anthony.
Some people have broken into outrage over Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem, with presidential candidates even weighing in on the matter. CNN.editition.com reported Republic nominee Donald Trump called for Kaepernick to leave the country.
Additionally, former Republican candidate and president-hopeful Ted Cruz has condemned athletes who protest, tweeting “stop insulting our flag, our nation, our heroes.”
With the protests now underway in Charlotte, N.C., it appears the civil unrest in regards to the mistreatment of minorities by law enforcement will not disappear overnight.
There is no telling yet just how far entertainers like Kaepernick, and the ordinary American citizens they have recruited, will reach with their protests. Most speculate they will not back down until concrete social change is finally enacted.