A star quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers refused to rise for the national anthem before a preseason NFL game on Friday in a protest against police brutality and in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Colin Kaepernick remained seated while his teammates stood for the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” ahead of a match against the Green Bay Packers. Explaining his protest to NFL.com, Kaepernick said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. 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.” In a news conference, Kaepernick also vowed to continue to sit during the national anthem.
Colin Kaepernick: “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. And 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 that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”