During the preseason, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat down during the singing of the national anthem, which led to a lot of NFL fans and insiders calling him unpatriotic for disrespecting the anthem and flag. While Kaepernick’s actions had no effect on NFL lines, it stirred up a lot of debate about the way athletes are expected to behave.
When reporters asked Kaepernick why he didn’t stand during the national anthem, the quarterback said he did it to protest the treatment of minorities in the country and to hold authorities accountable for the police brutality that is going on in the country.
After explaining the reasoning behind his decision, Kaepernick was scorned and ridiculed by some fans who decided to waste their hard earned cash by burning his jersey, and some media members that felt he was being disrespectful to the flag.
Some also questioned the quarterback’s sincerity, and said he started protesting to stay relevant after being benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert. Some also pointed to a pair of socks he wore during practice depicting police as pigs as a reason not to take his comments seriously.
Despite the opinions of some fans and media members, Kaepernick continued his protest the next week, and was joined by teammate Eric Reid in taking a knee during the anthem.
As the weeks went by and the regular season started, more of Kaepernick’s teammates have joined him in his protest, while other players across the league also joined in. As of this past weekend, over 40 NFL players have joined the protest, and other athletes in different sports have also joined in.
In addition to protesting the anthem, athletes have started speaking out about the brutality unarmed minorities are facing these days. Unfortunately, many have been busy pointing fingers at “spoiled athletes” disrespecting the country and ignored the message the athletes have been trying to get across.
Last week, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who has spoken in the past about the unfair treatment of minorities, called out media members for not taking the issue seriously. Sherman, who did not take any questions during the press conference, that instead of the media focusing on which players are taking a knee or holding hands during the anthem, they should concentrate on the fact that minorities are getting shot and killed in the middle of the street on a daily basis.
Sherman said he tries to do his part by doing a lot of community service in his neighborhood. Sherman said he tries to help kids by encouraging them to be better and to aspire for more in life. Sherman also said that he normally tries to tell the kids that whenever they are dealing with police, they should keep their hands up and comply with whatever the officers order them to do. The Pro Bowl cornerback said even if the kids do as they are told, there is still a chance that they will get shot and the officer that shoots them walks away without any repercussions.
Sherman said the recent attacks on unarmed minorities makes this an unfortunate time to be living.
He finished his statement by saying he decided not to take a knee, but is speaking out against the injustices being done to minorities.