49ers QB Colin Kaepernick - Photo by: Getty Images
The most talked about topic in football the past few days has nothing to do with Xs and Os, wins and losses, roster moves or stats.
Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback fighting for his job, touched a nerve by not standing during the Star Spangled Banner before Friday night’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.
Bucs WR Vincent Jackson spoke Monday about 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
In speaking with the media since the controversial behavior, Kaepernick said his decision to remain seated is to protest how people of color are treated in the United States, including incidents of police brutality.
According to an NBC News report published online Monday, Kaepernick said this during an open locker room session with the media: “This is because I’m seeing things happen to people that don’t have a voice, people that don’t have a platform to talk and have their voices heard and effect change. So I’m in a position where I can do that, and I’m going to do that for people that can’t.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers locker room was open to the media for the first time since Friday night’s 30-13 win over Cleveland and a few players were asked about their take on Kaepernick’s actions.
“I mentioned before, I think everybody has a right to their opinion,” said receiver Vincent Jackson. “It’s an individual, you know what I mean. I think that those are his believes personally. I wouldn’t associate it with football players or his team. That’s one person that has a passion for something that he sees and wants to bring light to. That’s his own business.”
When asked if he would support a teammate taking Kaepernick’s stance, Jackson, an active supporter of the United States military, said that players are allowed to express themselves however they like.
“It’s not about me supporting him,” Jackson said. “That’s one individual. It’s not me; it’s not my beliefs.”
Also addressing the issue Monday was tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The third-year pro provided lengthier responses than Jackson, but the message was largely consistent.
“He’s protesting something, he has a choice in America to do something, and people have the right to react either way,” Seferian-Jenkins said from in front of his locker. “That’s the beautiful thing about America and it brings a discussion to something that’s going on around the country. At the end of the day it’s America, you have a choice. That’s the great thing about America.”
Seferian-Jenkins didn’t support Kaepernick’s action, necessarily, but reiterated that the freedom to voice opinions is a right of all Americans.
“My stance is just that people can talk about it,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “And I know it’s a great way to get the conversation started because this is healthy; this is good, really, for our society to have this conversation. He brings up a very valuable point that’s going on in our society today and he does that by sitting down during the national anthem. It starts a discussion and I think that’s really important.
“Some people need to recognize, as well, that he did start a discussion. I think people, if you really want to, should start with investment in your own community. Educate people, spend money on things that are really important. I’m not saying that he’s not doing that, but I’m saying for anyone worldwide, including myself, if you really want to make a change you have to be hands on. You have to invest your own time, invest your resources into creating a better world for not only yourself but for the people you surround yourself with.”
Head coach Dirk Koetter stepped to the podium later in the afternoon and was also asked his opinion on the matter.
“I would be disappointed if any of our players didn’t stand up for the national anthem, personally,” he said. “I look at that as a salute to the people who have paved the way for us. But at the same time it is a free country and I think freedom of speech is something we all believe in, and freedom of expression. That’s an individual’s choice. That’s a fine line there. I would personally be disappointed, but I think that would be hard to enforce that rule.”
Being a patriot is a lot more than a bumper sticker on a car or a flag pin on your lapel. It took a lot of courage for this guy to do this. I give him a lot of credit. He is taking a lot of heat for standing up for those without a voice. This is America. A successful black Athlete wants to bring attention to the plight of black America. If he was just another black guy protesting no one would even notice or care. But he is a starting QB for a NFL team. It takes courage especially since he has become the poster boy for all the right wing hate in America.
I would be disappointed if a Buccaneer player refused to stand for our National Anthem.
I give Kaepernick NO “credit” for disrespecting our police and armed forces who are often games, frequently being honored for their service. He is NOT all that “successful” other than being paid far too much for struggling to stay on the team as a back-up and NOT a starter. In fact, I’m quite sure that when he is benched or cut he will use his “courage” as the real reason behind his situation as a player.
IMO the “man” is a jackass and deserves every bit of the criticism coming his way.
I don’t know, if I was Kaepernick, and this was my belief, I think I would have waited until next week, after the final roster cuts, to take a political stance to the public arena from my team locker room.
Personally, I think football players are getting paid to be football players, and they shouldn’t try to use this for gain for other things while on the teams clock. Off the field, out of the locker room, it may be a different story.
I think I like Elvis’ quote best when he was asked by a reporter in 1972 about his opinion of war protesters;
“Honey, I’d just as soon keep my own personal views about that to myself. I’m just an entertainer, and I’d rather not say.”
Many of you aren’t old enough to remember the civil rights issues back in the 6o’s. A lot of us white people marched with blacks hand and hand to make the change happen. This is very sad for me because I thought we were past this mostly. Just because we have some rogue cops doesn’t warrant this type of protest behavior. When you don’t stand for our National Anthem it’s a slap in the face for most Veterans who served and gave a lot more than just serving. It’s his right to do it; I just don’t want to see someone not standing. I hope the press doesn’t focus on this.
I think if you want to stand [sit ] on your soapbox do on your own time.
Shame on him
-Go Bucs !!!
Standing up for civil rights is also a lot more credible and valid when you aren’t just sitting down, either, seat26.
I did an internet search last night to see if Kapernick had donated either his time or part of his huge bank account to any chairitable organizations in order to fight the good fight for civil rights.
I found none.
In fact, the only charity I found him donating time to was one involving a summer camp for children with heart problems.
Move over ML King.
As far as donating money and time for civil rights I have a better record than Kapernick since I was a standing member of the ACLU who donated $100 yearly until this year. I need to renew my membership.
ASJ probably said it best when he inferred, “put your money and your time where your mouth is.”
Complaining about police officers shooting people of color and then calling them murderers is way out of bounds.
Most people falsely believe police officers are shooting people of color because they are racists which may be the case in some instances.
But I believe the majority of these cases are the result of what I call Barney Fifeism, the scared deputy on the Andy or Mayberry Show.
These officers stop people or get in altercations with them, they are human and get scared and frighten and then overreact to the situation and shoot them. Most of these men have to live with the guilt of killing someone for the rest of their lives.
They aren’t like OJ who slashed two people to death and then walked away without any guilt.
Whatever the case, I would certainly be more inclined to take Kapernick more seriously if he had put any time of effort into promoting civil rights for all people, not just people of color as he mentioned.
As it is, because of his current situation on his team and the fact he id dating some muslin DJ woman, I am more inclined this is just a well thought out stunt done for ulterior purposes.
Afterall, Kapernick’s history has shown he has very little interest in anything else other than himself.
He’s a piece of garbage. This is the most free country on the planet. Is it flawed? Yes? Do you disrespect our flag,military, and country? Hell no. It’s a disgusting act and I would burn his jersey if I was Niners fan. You don’t like it go live in Africa or Mexico. Lots other ways he could have voiced his (stupid To me) opinion.
He works for the Niners and represents them. He’s no different than that Home Depot employee wearing a hat during work saying “America was never Great”. Kaepernick is free to do what he wants on his time, not company time. Niners ought to fine him or void his contract for failing to represent the organization IAW his contract.
Anyone ever live in San Francisco in the last 20 years? lol
At least SR didn’t spark the political discourse this time!
Even though I support Kapernick being able to protest the way he did, it’s a shame he had to denigrate all the people who died defending the flag and so many LEO’s who risk their lives daily protecting the citizenry because of a small handful of deaths, some, after the facts came out and were proven, were justifiable.
I guess it would be the same as me looking at every black man as a stoned out crack user who killed innocent white nuns because one of them did.
Or to look suspiciously at every Muslim because a handful of them have committed terrorist attacks.
If I thought like Kapernick. I would probably end up voting for Donald Trump.
Strange isn’t it.
Hopefully more players will join him in refusing to stand for the National Anthem. This is getting lots of attention and could turn out to be an effective means of protest
I don’t know why the NFL plays the national anthem at every game. I don’t know why they have military planes flying overhead after that, although I suspect the kids find it thrilling. I don’t know why we’re asked as fans to stand and clap 3 or 4 times every game to clap for the military. I was in the military in a combat profession during a war. I don’t need to demonstrate my loyalty at football games. Jingoism is a bad habit in a free country.
We do honor our dead every year on Memorial Day. We don’t play the Star Spangled Banner because it honors the dead. Wrong song.
I agree with the specifics of Kaepernick’s cause. Many American police are poorly trained and heavily armed. It’s a bad combination. Most European countries spend years training policemen, not months, and they don’t give most of them firearms. They have more effective, less violent systems than ours.
Many people in the US, with most lf them having dark skin, have to live in neighborhoods that resemble occupied territory patrolled by an occupying army that has a wild west mentality. The people are asked to obey contradictory laws, and receive life altering criminal convictions for failing to be able to pay unreasonable fines. Late to school? Homeless? Pay a fine or go to jail. It’s not a coincidence that Freddie Gray was killed in the western district of Baltimore. As anyone who has watched The Wire (the most intelligent TV show ever made, IMHO) knows, police brutality is “the Western District Way” according to western district cops themselves.
Blind loyalty to institutions is not a characteristic of democracy. Free speech is. Kaepernick is a gutsy guy playing injured for a football team that’s been in steep decline talentwise since Harbaugh abandoned it. If the 49ers cut him I hope the Bucs bring him in someday after he’s all healed up. Glennon and Griffin haven’t played very well lately, either.
Although I agree with some of your points russmillerwy, I believe Colin Kapernick is the wrong person to be delivering the message and at a very inappropriate time.
Kapernick has no history of being involved in any civil right movements by spending either his time or his money supporting them until now.
Also, like most people, I don’t like my sports mixed in with my politics.
I feel the same way when I watch the Oscars and some actor with an IQ of85 wants to thrust his political beliefs on me while he’s got his money grubbing hands wrapped around a little statuette.
Is there racism in this country? Yes. It also exists in all colors. It’s not just whites against blacks or browns but those colors who distrust and have hate and fear whites. It is also more prevalent in the lower economic classes where ignorance is often encouraged.
I am often called a left wing liberal which is probably true. But I am also not blind to common sense.
I have worked in a lot of low income housing areas and I can tell you from experience the overwhelming large majority of adults who live there are living there because they were to lazy to get an education or have sloppy impulse control which prevents them from moving up the economic ladder.
I for one am tired of people blaming the government for everything bad that happens to them. The state provides a free education for anyone who desires one. It is not the state’s responsibility to make you go home and study or for them to monitor children’s parents to make them responsible for their children’s education.
People need to take more responsibility for what happens in their lives and quit pointing at the government for their plight.
Since I am on my soapbox I will also add one further future piece of advice.
If you don’t want to get shot by an LEO, do what he says when he tells you to at the time.
Don’t get in a fistfight with him in the middle of a street or walk down the middle of a highway high on drugs or drive through road blocks with a one ton deadly weapon.
Hey drd, just because he doesn’t have a history of being active doesn’t make him wrong to do it. Nobody has a history until they take a stand.
Even though I think he’s a dumb ass for how he is doing it.
An interview in a locker room with surrounded by 50 well paid men of color is not a forum I would take.
If he really wanted to make statement maybe he should forgo some game checks and put his money where his mouth is and support the victims of these incidents. GO BUCS
russmillerwy, I don’t agree with what you are saying nor describing. The Russians, North Korea, China would love you as you fit the type they know they can control. What kept many of our enemies from attacking USA wasn’t just because of our military strength, but more importantly the will of the people to die for their country for their way of life. Yes black people in the past didn’t have the same rights as white people, but all of this has changed. Everyone has choices in their life; some have to work harder at it, but they are achieveable. Your talk is right out of the 60’s and believe me we aren’t there again thank goodness. It got pretty bad when I was in Viet Nam up on the DMZ in 1970 when us officers couldn’t get many of the blacks to do their job even in the rear areas at the Combat Bases. The theme was “it’s a white man’s war not our war”. This is similar to what you are saying.
Kaep was very clear in stating this had everything to do with the police abuse that’s going on in the world and NOTHING to do with veterans. So tying this to military is a reach when he has clearly stated his intended purpose by not standing. He could definitely be doing more but lets not forget the message bc the delivery isn’t how you would prefer. People have no problem standing for an anthem written by a slave owning lawyer(Francis Scott Key) who worked vehemently to keep slavery alive so Colin is more than within his right to protest. If this speech means so much to some then perhaps they should look into its roots to see what it is you’re actually standing behind.
I think this young man is simply in need of some good mentoring…and sadly not getting it, or not listening to it. His protest is perfectly legitimate…both the cause of concern and the right to do it…but he’s made a poor judgment in the method by which he has chosen to unveil his displeasure.
He would have been much better off wearing a black arm band, or agreeing to do his post game interviews only in the neighborhoods for which he is concerned, or donating a portion of his game pay to his cause and challenging his opponents to do the same, or in some other way linking his cause to his protest much better…
…right now, his protest is all mixed up with the American national anthem (I really struggle to see what the anthem has to do with his cause…accepting it was created by a slave owner – I’m not sure he knew that or has made that link anyway), veterans (which clearly has nothing to do with his cause), pride (which tenuously has anything to do with his cause), support for freedom (which perhaps very tangentially has something maybe to do with his cause), etc. and causing all of the sorts of comments here on PR and elsewhere.
He needs a lesson from a good mentor, and then maybe he can legitimize his methods a little better. IMO
EastEndBoy, he received excellent mentoring from two white parents who were unpredjudiced enough to adopt him.
Look, this whole thing is being orchestrated by a narcissist who is more concerned about his image and always has been thant civil rights.
This has about as much to do with civil rights as the Dolphins tackles problem had to do with being bullied by the guard of the Bills now who I have forgotten his name.
Kapernick is about to get cut. Instead of blaming his failures on himself, he is going to be able to say his viewpoints are what got him fired.
When no other team wants to take him because he is a ticking time bomb, he will be able to blame his race and his viewpoints on the NFL.
How far is a lawsuit behind him with the always favorite role of being a “victim”: of racism.
This guy is a washed up QB who better hold on to his money tight because I’m sure his new Muslim girlfriend won’t have any problems spending it for him
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