NFL Star Colin Kaepernick Boycotts National Anthem Over Racism, Conservatives Go Ballistic (TWEETS)

On Friday night, the San Francisco 49ers met the Green Bay Packers in a preseason football game. As is customary, the national anthem was played before the game. Many people feel that it is also customary for everyone to stand while the anthem is sung. This was the case on Friday night… except for one very conspicuous person. Down on the 49ers sideline, quarterback Colin Kaepernick stayed in his seat.

The thing is, he’s been doing this all during the pre-season. NFL Network reporter Mike Garafalo Tweeted:

But it was certainly noticed on Friday night. Kaepernick told NFL Media reporter Steve Wyche after the game that he fully expected to catch flack for his act:

“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… This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”

You have to give the man props. He knew what he was doing and is prepared for the reaction. Following in the sports shoes of figures like Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Kaepernick invoked his First Amendment right to protest. He also frequently uses Twitter as a platform for speaking out for civil rights and Black Lives Matter.

Jennifer Chan, a reporter for Niner’s Nation, caught a picture of the 49ers sideline during the anthem. You can see Kaepernick sitting between the orange coolers:

Zoomed in:

Kaepernick sideline

The NFL, while not happy with the situation, admitted that standing for the anthem is not a requirement. They actually did the right thing by saying in a press release:

“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.”

Kaepernick said that he is ready for the backlash. Well, Twitter had some for him and it was venomous. It’s perfectly fine for one of their own to do it but, god forbid that someone do the same thing in support of something “different.”

This is just a sampling of the vitriol aimed at Kaepernick on Twitter:

One fan went mental:

But he did have supporters, people who actually understand the meaning of freedom.

And my personal favorite:

The people who are attacking Colin Kaepernick display an astonishing lack of understanding. They say he should respect his country, respect those who fought and died for it but they don’t get it. He is. He’s calling attention to a problem with race that the country has struggled with for centuries and he’s doing so by exercising his First Amendment right. The people who fought for our country did so in defense of that right. Not just for those who agree with you, but for all Americans. It’s just mind-blowing that some don’t understand that.

Featured Image by Jennifer Lee Chan via Twitter 

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