Inspired by the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick, professional athletes are starting to protest violence and shootings against African Americans by sitting, kneeling, or raising a fist. It all started when Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem at a game on September 12, 2016 according to npr.com.
“I am not going to stand up and show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said according to NFL.com. Other teams such as the Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, and the San Diego Chargers all have some players who are refusing to stand during the national anthem according to espn.com. Megan Rapinoe from the US Women’s National Soccer team told time.com “ I thought about about it, read about it, and just felt, how can I not kneel to?” She has also started to protest by taking a knee.
Even some high school football teams are starting to protest. For example, the entire football team and coaching staff for Garfield High School located in Los Angeles took a knee during the national anthem in a game against West Seattle High School on September 16, 2016. Kaepernick is even visiting and joining sme high school protests.
But not all Americans support Kaepernick’s methods of his protest. Nearly half of NFL fans claim that that they would stop watching football if protests are continued according to sports.yahoo.com. Now Kaepernick has been classified as the most disliked person in the NFL following his decision to sit and kneel during the national anthem according to cbssports.com
A few people who support Kaepernick include singer and songwriter, Trey Songz, rapper J. Cole, and President Barack Obama.”I’d rather have young people engaged in argument and trying to think through how they can be part of our democratic process than those who are just sitting on the sidelines,” the President stated at a press conference during the G20 Summit on September 5, 2016.
According to a poll, 47 percent of Americans oppose Kaepernick’s protests. While 32 percent support and the remaining 21 percent are neutral according to sports.yahoo.com.