San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is catching some major heat today for not standing during the national anthem before his game last night. Opinions seem divided on whether people think he was wrong or not but after the game he explained in detail what led to his decision.


“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 Media after Friday’s 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.”

Regardless of your opinion about what Kaepernick did (or didn’t do) he has the right to express himself and his views on a topic such as this. He went on to explain that he didn’t tell anyone about his plans beforehand because it’s not something he felt he needed permission for.

“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 backlash over this should be interesting but hopefully for his sake it doesn’t last long. His position on the team isn’t exactly secured and he hasn’t shown the ability to play well in quite a while now, all reasons people could use to hold his comments against him.

People need to understand he isn’t being disrespectful to the flag or to the country in general. He doesn’t hate America, he just feels there needs to be change and not much is being done so this is his way to draw more attention to it.

Shortly after the game ended, the 49ers issued a statement regarding what happened and at least on the surface they seemed to back their player.

“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pregame ceremony,” the statement said. “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.”