Colin Kaepernick is pissing off a lot of NFL fans for not standing up during the singing of the National Anthem. Some are even trolling him by burning his jersey during the National Anthem while on video. But he doesn't seem to care because he is bringing his political agenda and activism for the Black Lives Matter movement, and how he feels he could bring awareness to NFL and unity amongst his team, NFL fans, and the entire country.
In a press conference on Sunday, the 49ers quarterback was questioned by the media about his protest against standing for the National Anthem, and detailed why he will "continue to sit" during the National Anthem.
Here is an excerpt from the 18-minute press conference with Kaepernick discussing his views on the lack of regard for the deaths of African-American citizens at the hands of police. You can watch more parts of his interview below.
You can read the full transcript of Kaepernick's answers to questions about his mission to continue boycotting his pledge to the National Anthem, via SF Chronicle:
"People don't realize what's really going on in this country. There are a lot things that are going on that are unjust. People aren't being held accountable for. And that's something that needs to change. That's something that this country stands for freedom, liberty and justice for all. And it's not happening for all right now."
"It's something that I've seen, I've felt, wasn't quite sure how to deal with originally. And it is something that's evolved. It's something that as I've gained more knowledge about, what's gone in this country in the past, what's going on currently. These aren't new situations. This isn't new ground. There are things that have gone on in this country for years and years and have never been addressed, and they need to be."
"Yes. I'll continue to sit. I'm going to continue to stand with the people that 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, this country is representing people the way that it's supposed to, I'll stand."
"There's a lot of things that need to change. One specifically? Police brutality. There's people being murdered unjustly and not being held accountable. People are being given paid leave for killing people. That's not right. That's not right by anyone's standards."
As expected, several people across the country, including former 49er Alex Boone and Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, are against Kaepernick who deem him as being anti-patriotic. One woman, whom CNN anchor Jake Tapper tweeted her statement, lambasts Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the National Anthem because her veteran son was casualty of the war in Afghanistan.
Also, here are some other Twitter reactions from people who are against Kaepernick's protest:
But many are defending Kaepernick's protest based on the deeper meaning of the original context in which the U.S. National Anthem was penned. Francis Scott Key wrote the "Star Spangled Banner" during the Battle of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 as the American military was fighting the British over the annexation of Canada.
The original "Star-Spangled Banner" poem version is listed here, and is a stark reflection of how black lives didn't matter back then because the third verse of the poem mocks the deaths of black slaves. Many black slaves were recruited by the British army to help them defeat their American slaveholders. You can see the analysis by The Intercept in why they defend Kaepernick's motive for sitting out during the recital of the National Anthem at 49ers games. Maybe this is why we don't sing the original version today.