Update: In his post-game interview, Colin Kaepernick addressed kneeling during the National Anthem and his plans on continuing his protest and helping communities.
“I’ve been very blessed to be in this position and to be able to make the kind of money I do,” the 49ers player said. “And I have to help these people. I have to help these communities. It’s not right that they’re not put in a position to succeed or given those opportunities to succeed.”
Watch Colin make his statement below:
— Will Reeve Jr (@WillReeveJr) September 2, 2016
NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has joined the ranks of athletes who are using their considerable notoriety to raise awareness of social injustice in America, specifically in regards to how African-Americans are treated by law enforcement in the united states. His refusal to stand during the “Star Spangled Banner” at preseason football games–a practice he plans to continue throughout the season–made him the target of both racists and racial apologists on social media. NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice infamously tweeted that “All lives matter” and that we should “All just get along.”
However, Kaepernick received overwhelming support from fans and colleagues as well. When his critics tried to paint his protest as being disrespectful to veterans, military veterans rallied behind him in support under the hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick.
But even with that overwhelming show of solidarity his critics have been looking for ways to disparage Kaepernick. An old photo of him practicing in socks that depict police officers as pigs has resurfaced adding fuel to the outrage. But the QB defended his attire and spoke directly to why he wore them.
“I wore these socks, in the past, because the rogue cops that are allowed to hold positions in police departments, not only put the community in danger, but also the cops that have the right intentions in danger by creating an environment of tension and mistrust,” Kaepernick wrote on Instagram on Thursday. “I have two uncles and friends who are police officers and work to protect and serve ALL people. So before these socks, which were worn before I took my public stance, are used to distract from the real issues, I wanted to address this immediately.”
Kaepernick is expected to play Thursday night against the San Diego Chargers, who will be holding their annual salute to the military at the game. Expect to see more strong reactions if he continues his protest and sits down during the National Anthem.