Whether you’re a fan of the San Francisco 49ers or some other team, there’s no denying that San Francisco has been under microscopes over the past few days.
The buzz behind such controversy started when Colin Kaepernick, ace quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, deliberately chose to sit during the playing of the national anthem at the 49ers-Packers preseason game. When asked about his choice, Kaepernick explained that he was in protest against what he believes to be oppression of African Americans in the United States.
Such a choice has sparked debates from both sides of the coin. There are those who would stand (or in this case, sit) with Kaepernick and join in his cause. Others, however, believe that it was an extreme sign of disrespect.
Victor Cruz, the New York Giants wide receiver, is on the side of those who believe that Kaepernick was being disrespectful. In a report by USA Today, it’s said that Cruz made it very clear that he did not side with Kaepernick on the matter.
Cruz weighed in on the actions of his fellow NFL league athlete, having this to say in regards to Kaepernick’s choice.
“I think, personally, the flag is the flag. Regardless of how you feel about the things that are going on in America today and the things that are going on across the world with gun violence and things like that. You’ve got to respect the flag and stand up with your teammates.”
It’s clear that Victor Cruz believes that the team’s overall support is more important than the personal actions of an individual in this case. The 29-year-old wide receiver continues, explaining that Kaepernick’s bold move should not have taken precedence over the overall gesture toward the national anthem.
“It’s bigger than just you, in my opinion. I think you go up there. You’re with your team, and you pledge your allegiance to the flag and the national anthem as a team, and then you go about your business, whatever your beliefs are. Colin is his own man. He decided to sit down and sit out and that’s his prerogative. But from a personal standpoint, I think you have to stand out there with your team and understand that this is a game and understand that what’s going on in the country.”
Victor Cruz’s father is African American, and his mother is of Puerto Rican descent. Could some argue that this validates his opinion on Kaepernick’s outlook? Perhaps. Still, Kaepernick makes it very clear that what motivated his decision isn’t a personal attack. A report by Newsday sheds light on the 49ers quarterback and his beliefs.
In regard to the NFL, spokesman Brian McCarthy weighed in on the validity of having the choice to sit or stand during the national anthem at football games.
“Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem,” McCarthy explained.
The technicality does little to stave off the speculation of many, but it does leave Colin Kaepernick at a political standpoint where he could be considered well within his rights to have sat during the national anthem.
I will be STANDING during the National Anthem tonight. Thank you to ALL (Gender,Race,Religion)that put your lives on the line for that flag— Justin Pugh (@JustinPugh) August 27, 2016
Victor Cruz isn’t the only New York Giant who outwardly expressed their disappointment in the 49ers quarterback’s actions. Justin Pugh, who plays Guard for the New York Giants, took to Twitter to express his disagreement with the incident.
Pugh stated that Colin’s actions were “disrespectful to all the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect this country. I will be STANDING during the national anthem tonight (at the Giants-Jets preseason game). Thank you to ALL (Gender, Race, Religion) that put your lives on the line for that flag.”
What do you think of Victor Cruz’s response to Colin Kaepernick’s actions? Do you believe that the team’s support should have overruled Kaepernick’s feelings? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
[Photo By Rich Barnes/Getty Images]