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7 Reasons We Need To Stand With Colin Kaepernick

We are all aware of who Colin Kaepernick is. If you aren’t, then shame on you. Kaepernick, who is the former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, became a polarizing figure last season for his protests during the national anthem.

Kaepernick took a stand, or rather a knee, to fight for social justice. People only had a problem with this because the discussion of racial issues tends to make some people feel uncomfortable. As a result, they try to downplay and act like racial issues don’t exist. But, just like some are uncomfortable discussing racial issues, Kaepernick is uncomfortable with knowing that minorities are being senselessly murdered by the hands of the people they are sworn to protect.

White supremacy is real and they hide behind that American flag calling it patriotism – we have all shuddered at the unfortunate events out of Charlottesville. So, why would Kaepernick want to stand for a flag that represents a country that continues to oppress while claiming equality for all?

Kaepernick’s stance on these issues is the reason he remains a free agent. He is being blackballed by the NFL. It’s that simple and quite frankly it’s sad to watch. Which is why we need to support Kaepernick now more than ever – especially as a person of color.

If you live in NYC, you have the perfect opportunity to support Kaepernick this month. On August 23rd, there will be a rally at the NFL headquarters.

Image result for kaepernick rally nfl headquarters

If Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem frustrates you more than the number of unarmed minorities that are being killed and shamelessly racists protests, Kaepernick is not the problem, you are.

There are many reasons why black football fans everywhere should support Kaepernick. Some of them are listed below.

Free Speech

Kaepernick is exercising his first amendment right which gives him the freedom to freely petition standing for the national anthem before football games. The national anthem is not directly linked to the military in any way. It is just a symbol of America.

The freedoms outlined in the first amendment are what our military fights for. So, for those people saying the military is fighting for us therefore he should stand out of respect, you’re actually wrong. The military is actually fighting for his right to choose whether or not to stand for the anthem.

He Is Taking a Stand Against Police Brutality, Fighting for Social Justice and, Equality

When the Michael Brown incident happened, Kaepernick said, “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” His statement rings true for far too many cases. Far too often do cops get a slap on the wrist for taking an innocent black person’s life. Kaepernick sees how wrong it is and that racism is alive. You might even say he’s woke.

All he wanted and continues to do is highlight the injustice that so many of middle America turn a blind eye to because it doesn’t affect them.

He’s Actually Using His Platform

Unlike most celebrities, Kaepernick is using his status as a famous player in the NFL to bring attention to a cause that is not only important to him, but bigger than him. A lot of celebrities only use their platform when it’s beneficial to them and they’re getting something out of it. Kaepernick is the opposite. He’s using his platform to shed a light on the oppression of blacks and other minorities in the United States. He’s expecting nothing but change in this society.

He Is Not All Talk

Kaepernick essentially put his money where his mouth is. This was never about him making headlines or trying to get his name out there. He’s been about this cause from the beginning and has showed that time and time again.

Since he started this protest, Kaepernick has donated money to various organizations working in oppressed communities. He donated $25,000 to the Black Youth Project 100 organization, which is dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all black people. In addition, he donated equal amounts to Gathering for Justice/Justice League, Communities United for Police Reform, and the I Will Not Die Young Campaign.

He Is Not Causing Anyone Any Harm

Last time I checked, Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem hasn’t caused any harm to anyone. So, why is it this big of a deal? Fun fact: NFL players didn’t even start standing for the national anthem on the field until 2009. The Defense Department began paying the NFL to hold patriotic displays. Yup, the NFL made money out of it. What’s so “patriotic” about being paid to stand for the national anthem?

The NFL has more important things to worry about than blackballing Kaepernick. Like CTE and players being allowed to play following situations involving domestic violence. And for all the fans who are mad about him kneeling, maybe you should just as loudly be against the things that are tearing this nation apart. Help work towards making these things better so he no longer has to kneel to bring awareness to it.

He Was Willing to Lose his Livelihood for What He Believes In

Kaepernick knew the attention this was going to get. Now, he may not have thought he would be blackballed for it but there was always that chance. As J. Cole said at his show in Baltimore, “Baltimore, the type of shit that’s happening here, don’t you think that somebody should risk their whole livelihood and their whole life to talk about this shit? Even if it cost them their money, their job, their life? Don’t that sound like Colin Kaepernick? Don’t that sound like what he’s doing?”

That’s the truth. That is exactly what Kaepernick has done. He believes in this so much that he was willing to lose his job because of it – not that he should’ve.

It Is His Right

Plain and simple. Kaepernick has every right to protest anything he chooses. Fans and the media need to stop trying to control what these athletes are allowed to do. They don’t need our permission to do anything. We do not own them. These are grown men. Treat them as such.

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About Shekera Clarke

My name is Shekera Clarke. I am currently a senior at the University at Albany majoring in journalism with a business minor. I grew up in Queens, NY. QGTM! My goals upon graduating include either writing for a pop culture magazine/blog or work for ESPN because of my love for sports - whether that's behind the scenes or on air.

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