Colin Kaepernick takes a stand by not standing for the national anthem
The 49ers quarterback says his reasoning is 'bigger than football'
Do you notice anything unusual with this picture?
If nothing jumps out right away, look toward the bottom, between the Gatorade coolers. You'll see that No. 7 in red, Colin Kaepernick, is sitting on a bench while the rest of his teammates and coaches are standing. Why are they all standing? Because the Star Spangled Banner is being sung. So, why is Kaepernick seated?
"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 told NFL.com after the game. "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."
The NFL issued a statement Saturday on Kaepernick: "Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem."
Kaepernick did not inform anyone with the team of what he'd be doing. "This is not something that I am going to run by anybody," he said. "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."
The 49ers, for their part, issued a statement to Pro Football Talk: "The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem."
It seems safe to say this issue won't be going away for a while.
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