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Colin Kaepernick and His Refusal to Stand for the National Anthem

49ers player, Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the national anthem. (Photo licensed under Creative Commons.)

49ers player, Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the national anthem. (Photo licensed under Creative Commons.)

Lia Tassinari, Social Media Editor

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In the last week of August, the news about the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, and his refusal to stand for his country’s national anthem spread like wildfire. According to Kaepernick’s interview with NFL media, the quarterback 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.”

While many can respect the message Kaepernick is trying to lay out for his fellow citizens, others like myself are left with a bitter taste in our mouths. Not only is Kaepernick showing disrespect to America, but he is also disrespecting those who have fought and died for his freedom and for his right to publicly kneel during his nation’s anthem.

And yes, while I do believe that African American’s are the most oppressed race in this country, I wonder who exactly Colin Kaepernick thinks are the oppressors? Is he referring to those who have sacrificed their lives for the citizens living in this country? Or is he referring to every single American citizen? Of course, there is a percentage of people who continue to oppress African Americans, but Colin needs to understand that not all Americans do the oppressing. Hence, this is why American citizens like myself are angry at the fact that Colin Kaepernick has the audacity to generalize this nation as a whole to be oppressors of black people.

I, personally, feel that Colin Kaepernick went about his views in the wrong manner. Perhaps he could have taken a different approach instead of the one he chose. It is no wonder why the 49er’s quarterback received so much harsh criticism.

Our beloved American flag and anthem does not stand for racial issues or anything else regarding that category. Our American anthem and flag stands for our nation’s freedom and honoring those who have sacrificed their lives so that we can live free. So, instead of perpetuating hate, Colin Kaepernick should stand united with his fellow citizens in efforts to end oppression in all phases. Because in the end, love will always win.

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