Colin Kaepernick has spoken with the media about his national anthem protest a lot over the course of the last two months. But up until now, he hadn’t sat down for a 1-on-1 video interview with any media outlets. Instead, he decided to share messages with the media during his press conferences. But this week, he chose to sit down with The Undefeated for his first 1-on-1 video interview since the start of his protest.
During the interview, Kaepernick began by explaining why he decided to start his protest in the first place before talking about the reactions to it that have both touched him and hurt him:
I think, you know, it was something that was really just a personal decision where I didn’t agree with what was going on. And you know, as far as the things that have most touched me is the kids, the communities, the support. Something that everybody else saw and was like, 'You know what? I believe in what that movement is, in what that issue he’s trying to fight for is.' And things that hurt, I haven’t really focused on that too much. Part of the oppressive system is you’re going to have that backlash for trying to fight for people. And that was something I was fully prepared for, fully aware of, so when those things came, it was expected. It wasn’t an issue for me. The support is really what, to me, was huge and really gave me excitement and gave me life as far as people are seeing this the same way I am and now we can help create change.
He went on to talk about some of the specific things people have said to him when he has encountered them during his everyday life:
Just in everyday walks of life, the amount of people that have come up and just said, 'I really support your and thank you.' People saying, 'I’ve had more conversations about this in the last couple months than I have had in my entire life.' Now those conversations are happening and that spreading of knowledge is happening where you start to break down ignorance, you start to break down some of those prejudices, because the truth is coming out about these issues.
And he also said that he doesn’t feel any additional pressure to perform on the football field because of his protest:
No, I don’t. For me, football is my job. That’s my profession. That’s what I do in that aspect of my life. This is who I am as a human being and what my beliefs are. So for me, that’s completely separate. Although football does give you the platform to be heard, ultimately these issues exist regardless of whether or not football exists. So it’s not something that is related to football. Football just allows a platform to have conversations on a greater extent about these issues.
You can watch a portion of the interview in the clip above.
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