Colin Kaepernick Explains Why He’s Boycotting the National Anthem
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*San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, or “Cap” as he’s called by some, met with the press on Sunday to explain his controversial action of not participating in the national anthem before the team’s preseason game Friday night against the Green Bay Packers. Yesterday he told NFL.com that he was protesting because “there are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
In fact, he will continue to sit for the national anthem until “there’s significant change,” he told reporters.
“This country stands for freedom, liberty, justice for all. And it’s not happening for all right now,” the quarterback said. “When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent in this country… I’ll stand.”
Kaepernick added that he is not worried about his safety, because if something were to happen to him then it would only go to strengthen his case.
The NFL issued a statement on the protest Saturday, saying that players are “encouraged but not required to stand” during the anthem.
Here are some of his more interesting responses to reporter’s questions:
Do you personally feel oppressed?
CK: There have been situations where I feel like I’ve been ill-treated, yes. This stand wasn’t for me. This stand wasn’t because I feel like I’m being put down in any kind of way. This is because I’m seeing things happen to people that don’t have a voice, people that don’t have a platform to talk and have their voices heard, and effect change. So I’m in the position where I can do that and I’m going to do that for people that can’t.
Are you concerned that this can be seen as a blanket indictment of law enforcement in general?
CK: There is police brutality. People of color have been targeted by police. So that’s a large part of it and they’re government officials. They are put in place by the government. So that’s something that this country has to change. There’s things we can do to hold them more accountable. Make those standards higher. You have people that practice law and are lawyers and go to school for eight years, but you can become a cop in six months and don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist. That’s insane. Someone that’s holding a curling iron has more education and more training than people that have a gun and are going out on the street to protect us.
(In Washington D.C., for instance, where I live, it takes 1,500 hours to get a cosmetology license, and 28 weeks to complete the police academy.)
Do you want to expand on that?
CK: You have Hillary who has called black teens or black kids super predators, you have Donald Trump who’s openly racist. We have a presidential candidate who has deleted emails and done things illegally and is a presidential candidate. That doesn’t make sense to me because if that was any other person you’d be in prison. So, what is this country really standing for?
What would be a success?
CK: That’s a tough question because there’s a lot of things that need to change, a lot of different issues that need to be addressed. That’s something that it’s really hard to lock down one specific thing that needs to change currently.
You can read the full transcript HERE.
Kaepernick, 28, lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012, but is currently battling Blaine Gabbert for the starting quarterback spot, which he lost last season.