NFL QB Colin Kaepernick Set to Sit Out National Anthem Again on ‘Military Night’ in San Diego
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has said he plans to sit out the national anthem tonight, just as he did in the preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last week and other games this summer before reporters took notice.
He says his protest will continue indefinitely. “When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent in this country, I’ll stand,” Kaepernick told reporters Sunday.
The 49ers away game today in San Diego (10 p.m. ET) is particularly noteworthy because it is “Military Night,” billed as a tribute to “hundreds of thousands of current and retired military personnel who live and work in San Diego,” according to the San Diego Chargers’ website.
More broadly, the quarterback’s pregame protest over the treatment of “black people and people of color” has garnered national media attention, driving a complex discussion about race, and political protest in U.S. sports.
The timing of the “Military Night” event is coincidental, a Chargers’ spokesman told the San Diego Union-Tribune earlier this week, adding that the team sponsors a “Salute to the Military” once every preseason.
Kaepernick’s protest of “The Star-Spangled Banner” first caught the attention of the media last Friday night when his team hosted the Packers, a game in which Kaepernick returned from injury. Since then, fan reaction to his decision has been split, frequently along ideological lines.
Some fans expressed anger toward Kaepernick, specifically regarding his perceived slight to the U.S. military, although the quarterback himself has specified that the actions relate to America’s treatment of “black people and people of color.”
“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 told reporters in defense of his motivation.
“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.”
Kaepernick, who was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to a white mother and African-American father, has also said the protest is over “bodies in the street” and not meant to insult members of the military.
Read more at ABC News
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