During Friday night’s NFL preseason game, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick ignited a firestorm when he decided not to stand during the national anthem due to the unfair treatment of African-Americans in America.
The QB told reporters Sunday evening that he’s sticking to it and doesn’t plan on standing for the national anthem until changes are made.
“I’ll continue to sit,” Kaepernick said. “I’ll continue to stand with the people who are being oppressed. To me, this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change, and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”
While many agree with his message, they question his method. Several other NFL players have spoken up about Kaepernick’s actions.
Giants running back Rashad Jennings appreciates the freedom of speech in America, but he will always stand for the national anthem. “I would say that it’s nice to know that we live in a country where sitting down during the anthem won’t land you in jail or worse. But I personally choose to stand and honor the anthem for what I hold it to represent to me,” he said.
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz wholeheartedly disagrees with Kaepernick and believes there’s no excuse for not respecting the flag. “I think, personally, the flag is the flag. Regardless of how you feel about the things that are going on in America today and the things that are going on across the world with gun violence and things like that. You’ve got to respect the flag and stand up with your teammates,” Cruz told USA Today.
The 49ers front office released a statement that reads in part: “We recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
This controversy comes at an odd time in the 49ers’ locker room, where Kaepernick’s $114 Million contract is looking a bit overpriced and he could be unloaded as quickly as the end of the season.
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