Colin Kaepernick is at the center of controversy this week following his decision to protest the national anthem fans are angry. As expected, the San Francisco 49ers’ star quarterback has garnered an array of mixed opinions, most of which are racially-charged responses.
Although the vast majority of his African-American fans have applauded him for his protest, many white fans are not pleased with his actions. In fact, an overwhelming number of 49er fans decided to take matters into their own hands to make their disapproval of Kaepernick quite clear.
According to the Daily Mail, the 49er quarterback’s jersey has been burned following the national anthem controversy. Opposing 49er fans feel the $114-million-dollar superstar disrespected all of the soldiers and heroes who have fought for Americans’ and protected the United States.
An Instagram user with the name Nate3914 posted footage of the jersey burning while voicing his frustrations with the 49er quarterback.
“People die every single day defending that flag you refuse to stand for and I won’t stand for that. This jersey was the worst $50 investment I have ever had … you should never play in the NFL again, move to Canada.”
But, despite what 49er fans think, Kaepernick sees things from a totally different perspective. When asked about the national anthem protest, he explained why he did it. Although the United States of America appears to no longer be an oppressed country, the 49er quarterback believes otherwise, according to NFL.com.
With so many incidents of police brutality and racial injustices, the 49er is not convinced all races are treated equally as they should be in “the land of the free.” He believes African-Americans are still oppressed since it seems relatively easy for law enforcement officers to get away with murder.
“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 said. “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.”
Although 49er fans argue their quarterback should be reprimanded for his seemingly disrespectful actions, most angry fans won’t be pleased with the NFL’s response. Being an American citizen comes with freedom of expression, which is a right he exercised during the national anthem.
Therefore, he won’t be reprimanded or penalized. The NFL released a statement addressing the controversial incident.
Colin Kaepernick -- Jersey Burned in Effigy Over National Anthem Protest (VIDEO) https://t.co/Lga9VuLWcX— TMZ (@TMZ) August 28, 2016
“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. 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 and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport also spoke about the incident. He expressed similar sentiments, supporting the NFL’s stance. “Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem.”
Now that the NFL has released a statement, 49er fans and many avid NFL fans are pondering the idea of boycotting Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers and the NFL collectively. But, despite the disapproval of his national anthem protest, there are other NFL players who are supporting his decision.
According to ESPN, Philadelphia Eagles’ safety Malcolm Jenkins recently spoke out in defense of the national anthem protest. He also applauded the 49er quarterback for his efforts to stand for what he believes. However, he also feels his message will be overshadowed simply because fans will only see his status as an NFL player.
“If you want change and you want things to get better across the country, there’s different ways to go about it. What’s going to get lost is all the stuff that he was trying to point out,” Jenkins said.
“I think everybody is going to talk about how him making the money that he does as an NFL player and basically kind of shaming the flag or whatever, shaming the country, is unpatriotic. You talk about troops and being able to honor that, that’s what’s going to get talked about. It’s not going to be about the lives that have been lost across the country, the injustices that are being done to minorities all across this country, that’s what’s not going to be in the headlines. It’s going to be about him.
What do you think about Colin Kaepernick’s gesture? Were 49er fans right for burning his jersey? Share your thoughts.
[Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images]