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NFL Players React to Colin Kaepernick Not Standing for the National Anthem

Don't worry, we have a bunch of (surprise!) white guys' jingoistic thoughts on the matter for you.

In case you were busy falling through a bottomless hole for the past two days, people are flipping out about 49ers starting quarterback hopeful Colin Kaepernick not standing during the national anthem during Friday night's pre-season game against the Packers. In a league whose logo is practically the American flag itself and that has basically claimed fall and winter Sundays as national holidays, some didn't notice it at the time, some did. But Kaepernick told the next day exactly why he chose not to stand during the anthem, putting a spotlight on his cause.


"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color," said Kaepernick, one of the few black quarterbacks in the league. "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."

Fan reactions ran from 'why, God, why?' to cries of career suicide to outrage to solidarity for Kaepernick's actions after an NFL offseason that bore witness to an increase in other league's player protest against police brutality against black people. NFL players also took to social media to sound off on their opinions on Kaepernick's objection.

Here's a bunch of (surprise!) white guys' jingoistic thoughts on the matter:

tylereifert: Pretty cool picture! My big cuz took a bengals flag up on a mission in hostile territory. But, thanks for defending the flag that really matters, even for the people who don't appreciate it!

Easy way to make sure you're NOT the starting QB on opening day. #Sept11
— Matthew Hasselbeck (@Hasselbeck) August 27, 2016

I will be STANDING during the National Anthem tonight. Thank you to ALL (Gender,Race,Religion)that put your lives on the line for that flag
— Justin Pugh (@JustinPugh) August 27, 2016

It blows my mind how many people hate the country they live in.
— T.J. Yates (@TJ_Yates) August 27, 2016


Activists changed USA for better but have to associate Nat Anthem w/ military that die for ur right to protest. Stand up. Find another way
— Tyler Polumbus (@Tyler_Polumbus) August 27, 2016

And here are the players that stood in solidarity with Kaepernick—or at least just acknowledged his right to not stand:

Kapernick is well within his rights to do what he did. I'm not saying I agree but I do understand why he felt morally obligated in his acts.
— Russell Okung (@RussellOkung) August 27, 2016

the flag represents freedom. the freedom to choose to stand or not. that's what makes this country beautiful. …
— Feeno (@ArianFoster) August 27, 2016

he has the right to choose not to stand. just as you have the right to disagree with his stance. round and round we go.
— Feeno (@ArianFoster) August 27, 2016

you can't be be selective and dictate what freedoms this country stands for. you're free to have any religious/political views you feel.
— Feeno (@ArianFoster) August 27, 2016

Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills retweeted the following:

People mad Kaepernick sat during the national anthem in protest, but they aren't mad about the injustice he's protesting. That's the point.
— Sam White (@samwhiteout) August 27, 2016

Kaepernick told that he didn't feel a need to get the OK stamp for his symbolic act, saying:

"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."

But the 49ers responded with an official statement, standing by Kaepernick's right to not stand, saying.

"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."