Colin Kaepernick made the decision to not stand during the National Anthem as a protest to the racial climate currently in the United States where he feels as if “black people” and other people of color are being oppressed.
The 49ers QB explained his actions Sunday saying, “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. This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. 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.”
After seeing and hearing Kaepernick’s actions and words, other NFL players seem to have followed. One of those specifically, Eagles’ linebacker Myke Tararres. The rookie said Monday he planned to join the protest and will refuse to stand during the national anthem.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 29, 2016
“We’ve got an issue in this country in this day and age, and I feel like somebody needs to step up and we all need to step up,” Tavarres said. “We’ve got that right. There’s just a lot going on that people don’t want to talk about, and I feel like us as athletes, we’re looked at as role models. And I feel like with Colin Kaepernick, he’s doing a great job for standing up in what he believes in, and most people may not like that, but that’s his opinion, he’s entitled to it, and I respect him for doing it.”
“I’m a rookie free agent, haven’t signed any major contract, so there’s not a lot of money on the line, I don’t have any big endorsement deals on the line,” he added. “Really what’s at stake is my pride and what kind of man would I be and what kind of African-American would I be if I didn’t stand my ground on this issue we have today?”
Other players around the league have sided with Kaepernick’s stance and some may join Kaepernick’s stand by sitting.
Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell has said he will allow his players to sit if so they chose, falling in the lines of what Chip Kelly touched up on when asked about his QB. Others like LA Rams’ coach Jeff Fisher have gone on record saying they requite their players stand during it’s playing.