Colin Kaepernick Explains Why He Refused to Stand for Playing of the National Anthem

Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem, and here's his explanation.

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Complex Original

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Prior to the San Francisco 49ers' home opener on Friday night, Colin Kaepernick took a stand by remaining seated for the playing of the National Anthem.

Kaepernick didn't stand during national anthem. He also didn't play QB at an NFL level...(📷 via @jenniferleechan)

— Will Reeve Jr. (@WillReeveJr) August 27, 2016

Following the Niners' 21-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers, Kaepernick spoke with Steve Wyche of the NFL Media, and explained his decision. "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 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."

It was a choice he came to without running it by his own teammates. "This is not something that I am going to run by anybody," Kaepernick explained. "I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. ... If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right." While it is admirable that he took a stand, given his platform, his actions have already caused a huge divide between the people who side with him, and those who vehemently oppose his decision. 

I disagree w/ Colin Kaepernick's view, but I respect his decision & am grateful to live in a country where we can disagree civilly. #America

— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) August 27, 2016

I respect it @Kaepernick7 #NinersNation

— Bank Matthews (@MrKeepItRegular) August 27, 2016

The 49ers released a statement of their own, acknowledging what the National Anthem stands for, but also taking into account "the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration" of the anthem. 

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