San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to acknowledge the national anthem wasn’t on the spur of the moment. In fact, the athlete was prepared to take a stance on behalf of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
The 28-year-old’s protest took place Friday evening (Aug 27) during an exhibition game against the Green Bay Packers. Kaepernick decided to sit as fellow teammates and opponents took part in the national anthem. In an interview with NFL Media, Kaepernick explained the patriotic symbol of hope and prosperity doesn’t reflect the times of racial tension a portion of Americans are living through today. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said to Steve Wyche. “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.”
The 49ers released a statement, noting the player has sat out in another preseason game and their thoughts on his actions. “The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pregame ceremony,” the team said.