Colin Kaepernick explained his decision not to stand for the national anthem on Friday night to NFL.com’s Steve Wyche. He sounds like a man perfectly willing to be at the center of controversy.
“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 in an exclusive interview after the game against Green Bay. “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.”
Kaepernick’s Twitter feed has recently been focused on issues facing minorities in the United States. He told Wyche that he’s wanted to go public with his feelings for awhile but wanted to waited until he was better informed.
“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.”
There will be fallout. The social media reaction is already white-hot. Whether Kaepernick’s stance affects his future with the 49ers remains to be seen.