San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick Protests "Oppression" By Sitting During National Anthem: "There Are Bodies In The Street & People Getting Paid Leave & Getting Away With Murder.” (Video)
Video After The Jump
Add Colin Kaepernick's name to a growing list of pro athletes protesting against what they believe are injustices being committed against people of color by rogue police officers in the United States.
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback refused to stand during the the national anthem before his team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on Friday, August 26.
"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's Steve Wyche 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. 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."
The 49ers issued a statement Friday night: “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 and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem."
The NFL also released a statement: "Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem."
Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and LeBron James spoke out against racial profiling and said this country's "broken system" needed to be fixed, last month during a speech at the ESPYs
They pledged to use their resources to help urban communities.
What are your thoughts on professional athletes using their notoriety to help bring about social change?
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