If you have missed out on the drama regarding San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, this is your chance to catch up on all of it.
On August 26th, Kaepernick sat during the national anthem as a protest against racial injustice in the United States. This gesture really started the conversation. Within hours, the response was explosive. While most people have condemned him, others understood his act of protest.
Kaerpernick confirmed his stance by saying:
“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.”
In addition, Kaerpernick explained that his action was never done to be disrespectful. In favor of Kaerpernick’s protest, Brian McCarthy (the NFL spokesman) said that NFL players “are encouraged, but not required to stand” for the national anthem.
This is not the first time an athlete has used his platform to call for action. Previously, big NBA stars like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade have been seen doing similar things for issues like racism and social injustice.
While the social media has been exploding on both sides, Rodney Harrison that added to the backlash for Kaepernick. The former NFL athlete commented that Kaepernick is “not black” and cannot understand the racial injustices of African Americans.
It was not long before Harrison’s remarks came under a barrage of criticism. Harrison later apologized in a series of posts on Twitter, saying that he “should not have called Colin Kaepernick’s race into question.”
To stand or to not stand is not the question. The state of America is the matter in question.
The flag and the anthem may be a representation of a free nation. Although, is it a nation where black and white are truly equal? Why does the black community end up facing more backlash? What is the reason for hunting them down? Why has our social media been stormed with ridicules of the #blacklivesmatter movement?
The main message in this whole episode is that Colin Kaepernick had used one way to convey his message as an athlete. He took the chance to speak out in the form of a silent protest.
When we speak of “freedom of speech”, it means that everyone gets to use it in their own way. Be it Trump or Kaepernick, everybody is entitled to their opinions and actions.
Photo credit: Deviant Art