Colin Kaepernick has received death threats through a “couple different avenues” as a result of his national anthem protest, he revealed on Tuesday. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback said he has not notified team security about the threats.
“To me, if something like that were to happen, you’ve proved my point and it will be loud and clear for everyone why it happened, and that would move this movement forward at a greater speed than what it is even now.
“Granted, it’s not how I want it to happen, but that’s the realization of what could happen. I knew there were other things that came along with this when I first stood up and spoke about it. It’s not something I haven’t thought about.”
The Santa Clara police confirmed they haven’t received any reports and aren’t investigating any allegations of threats to Kaepernick. A spokesman for the 49ers said the safety of players is of the utmost importance.
Sadly, the revelation that threats to Kaepernick’s life are being made isn’t shocking. He’s at the center of a very divisive issue and the lunatic fringe will always act like lunatics.
Kaepernick’s comments carry the subtext that he’s willing to die for his beliefs. This is quite a statement considering some of his cynics have accused the entire protest to be a plea for attention.
He addressed those who continue to be detractors.
“It’s something they either don’t care about it or they don’t understand it, which I find it very hard that people don’t understand what’s going on,” Kaepernick said. “I think the message has been out there loud and clear for quite some time now.
“There’s a lot of racism disguised as patriotism in this country and people don’t like to address that and they don’t like to address what the root of this protest is. You have players across this country, not only in the NFL but soccer and NBA and high school players, they don’t like to address this issue that people of color are oppressed and treated unjustly. I don’t know why that is or what they’re scared of, but it needs to be addressed.”
Kaepernick was booed and jeered during Sunday’s game in Carolina. He was also booed by his home crowd during the season opener.
Still, he sounds encouraged the movement he started has spread.
“I think other people picking up on the protest and speaking out about it from high school kids to activists to pro athletes, I think is huge,” he said. “I think as the conversations continue in these communities, more and more solutions are going to come up as to how to fix this as quickly as possible. That’s ultimately the goal.”