Colin Kaepernick and other NFL Players protest the National Anthem


Photo courtesy of CBS News. Colin Kaepernick kneels during a preseason game in support of Black Lives Matter.

Nithin Reddy, Online Editor

   On September 1st during the last preseason game for the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick, along with teammate Eric Reid, took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.  When asked after the game about what his message was in taking a knee, Kaepernick responded by saying, “The Message is that we have a lot of issues in this country that we need to deal with.  We have a lot of people that are oppressed…  Police Brutality is a huge thing that needs to be addressed.  There are a lot of issues that need to be talked about that need to be brought to life, and we need to fix those things.”

   Kaepernick has continued with this protest as he has kneeled every game since, and he has also shown his commitment to the cause as he donated the first million dollars from his salary this year.  Through his activism, many people have voiced their opinions.  Two main points of view have emerged through all of this. 

Colin Kaepernick Says He’ll Continue To Protest National Anthem

While taking questions from reporters in a locker room interview, San Francisco 49ers quarterback pledged to continue refusing to stand during the playing of the national anthem before games this season. Kaepernick’s protest centers on police brutality and the injustices suffered by African-Americans at the hands of the police.

   One side believes that he is disrespecting veterans along with the country as a whole.  Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has said that it is a terrible thing and he should maybe look for a new country.  The other side has a completely different perspective.  They believe that African Americans have been taken advantage, and Kaepernick has helped send a message that enough is enough.  NFL players such as Arian Foster, Adrian Claiborne, and most notably Brandon Marshall.  Marshall, the inside linebacker for the Denver Broncos, has followed in Kaepernick’s footsteps by also kneeling during the national anthem.  Marshall has paid the price as many of his endorsements have been taken away, but he continues to kneel on Sundays.  Marshall has also decided to show his support through his play  on the field.  Marshall has pledged $ 300 for every tackle he records this year. 

   While many athletes have come to support the Black Lives Matter Movement, not all have agreed with the way he has expressed his message.  Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saint quarterback, has fallen in line with these beliefs.  “I disagree. I wholeheartedly disagree,” said Brees, “Not that he wants to speak out about a very important issue. No, he can speak out about a very important issue. But there’s plenty of other ways that you can do that in a peaceful manner that doesn’t involve being disrespectful to the American flag.”

    Overall, Kaepernick isn’t trying to disrespect the military or anyone else.  He is just passionate about Black Lives Matter, and he wants to help African Americans fight against police brutality and for social justice.