Collin Kaepernick and the injustice of America
Sports and politics usually don’t merge well, so when Collin Kaepernick sat during the National Anthem for the second time to protest the injustice of the police on black men last Friday, it did not go well with the American people. When you are a country founded on equality, you are bound to hit a few bumps in the road: slavery, segregation,and lately police brutality in which the people who are supposed to protect everyone no matter what color of their skin are the ones attacking it. For the San Fransisco 49ers quarterback Collin Kaepernick, a black athlete, the topic really hit home. It did so much so that Kapernick decided it was time to take a stance against what he calls ,“a country that oppresses black people and people of color” ,and how is Kapernick doing this? By sitting during the national anthem.
Kaepernick’s protests have not gone unnoticed. After his protest last Friday he was immediately criticized by the media,political figures, and several fellow athletes. One of the toughest criticisms came from former 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh who said “I acknowledge his right to do that,but I don’t respect the motivation or the action.” Kaepernick has some who support his actions like Bart Scott who said “Every guy has the right to voice his opinion and his beliefs, and I support him, like any teammate should,”. Another criticizer of Kaepernick is Donald Trump, after Kapernick called the presidental nominee “openly racist”. Trump took to the radio to express his feelings toward Kaepernick saying, “I think it’s personally not a good thing, I think it’s a terrible thing. And, you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him. Let him try, it won’t happen.”
Since Kaepernick started sitting out the National Anthem, his Jersey has been the number one seller in the NFL. This isn’t due to his stats but more due to the fact that Kaepernick’s jersey has turned into a political statement against police brutality.When asked about the jump in jersey sales Kapernick said “”It was something that the jersey sales jumped because of people’s belief that there can be change and we can make this country better and that they believe I was someone who can help that change”.Kaepernick vowed on Instagram to donate all the proceeds he recieves from the jersey sales “back into the communities”, as well as donating a million dollars to various causes.
Other athletes in the NFL are beginning to join Kaepernick in the protest including Jelani Jenkins, Arian Foster, Michael Thomas, and Kenny Stills of the Miami Dolphins. Kansas City Chiefs’ Marcus Peters raised his right fist while his teamates locked arms to show unity. Peters said earlier this week that he was “100 percent” behind Kaepernick’s protests.More athletes plan to protest as the situation continues to look as though it will worsen before it resolves itself.
Will more athletes in the NFL as well as in other sports begin to protest in the same way as Kaepernick?There is sure to be more support as well as more backlash to come for Kaepernick and other athletes protesting. All we really can expect is for the situation to get worse before it gets better.
Davis,Nate. “49ers’ Collin Kaepernick: “I’ll continue to sit’ for national anthem”.” USA Today,http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/49ers/2016/08/28/colin-kaepernick-continue-to-sit-national-anthem-san-francisco/89515810/. Accessed 13 September 2016.