Colin Kaepernick, who is a quarterback for San Francisco 49ers, has caused much controversy by refusing to stand for the playing of the national anthem. His defense is that he is in protest of what he considers are wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in the United States.
Kaepernick states,"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’s actions have generated much attention and prompted other players around the NFL to protest. Some players from several teams took a knee during the anthem, raised a fist, or, in the case of the Seattle Seahawks, stood with arms interlinked.
However, the protests have also enraged many who feel that refusing to stand for the anthem in a typical manner before games is a sign of disrespect. One commentator has stated "Kaepernick is a backup QB whose job is to be quiet and sit in the shadows." He stated that this controversy has "torn the fabric of the team apart."
Other critics have stated, "Football fans tune in to watch the NFL, not social justice protests." "In the "ultimate" team game, Kaepernick should put the interests of the team above his personal political beliefs."
According to the Washington Post, Kaepernick’s choice not to stand during the national anthem has caused much attention, both positive and negative, that may ultimately cost him millions in future endorsements and affect his value as a player on his team, reducing salary earnings or even jeopardizing his job. If team ticket sales seriously dipped as a result, he would pay for his stance.
What are your thoughts?
Accusations of selfishness