Divisional Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v San Franciso 49ers

San Fransisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is under fire for not standing with his team during the National Anthem. When asked why he chose not to stand Kaepernick said the following:

“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.””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.”

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The 49ers recognized Kaepernick’s freedom of speech saying “The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. 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.”

The National Football League issued a statement on the issue saying “Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem.”

This isn’t the first time Kapernick has sat out the National Anthem, in fact, he hasn’t stood all preseason long. The difference is this was the first time he dressing in his uniform to play for the 2016 NFL preseason. Refusing to stand for the anthem is a big deal for some. In 1996 NBA player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf refused to stand for the anthem citing political and religious beliefs. Rauf was suspended a game but later worked out an agreement with the league.

Kaepernick is fully aware of the controversy and what the consequences may be, telling NFL reporter Steve Wyche “This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,” he said. “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.”

Kaepernick is currently fighting for the 49ers starting quarterback slot.

News Source | NFL.Com | Photo Source | Getty

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