NFL player and benched San Fancisco 49’ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick has received a lot of criticism over the past several days after he chose not to stand during the national anthem during a pre-season football game because of the oppression of black people in the United States.
Since doing so, he has defended his stance for not standing during the national anthem. Some people have chosen to support and thank Kaepernick for sitting down during the national anthem, but many have critiqued his decision. During an interview with ESPN, he said that he has “great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country.”
One man that greatly represents one of the people that have fought for this country is Medal of Honor recipient, Dakota Meyer. In a phone interview with the Controversial Times, Meyers said that, “That flag stands for freedom and has nothing to do with the issue he is trying to portray.”
“If that’s what he feels he wants to do with his fame and his platform, that’s his choice. But, Colin Kaepernick needs to remember that a lot of men and women bled for that flag he refuses to stand for. A lot of those men and women were African-Americans who fought, bled, and died on behalf of that flag and those freedoms. That flag stands for freedom and has nothing to do with the issue he is trying to portray. But, if he feels this is something he has to do, he should rock on. Because that’s what freedom is all about.”
Army Ranger Veteran Dorian Majied had something similar to say in an interview with IJR.
To refuse to stand for the National Anthem is his right as an American, and I support that right, however I do not agree with that action.
There are a myriad of other ways to conduct social protest for people of color, that don’t, whether by intent or otherwise, ignore the American principles that have given rise to extreme integration within a single American generation.
My father was born without the right to vote and in one generation I’ve been blessed to lead amongst the world’s greatest fighting force.”
Majied gave Kaepernick a few alternatives to how he could protest.
“He could write his congressman, he could petition, he could picket, he could join the service and actually fight for the rights he seems to think are not offered to him; his sitting through the National Anthem was a lazy lack of will and brain power,” Majied told IJR.
Kaepernick said in an interview with NFL.com that he thinks things need to change and that he can’t stand for a country that oppresses black people.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. 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,” Kaepernick said.
Afterwards, the league issued a statement saying that players are encouraged to stand during the national anthem, but they are not required to do so.