Harry Belafonte is speaking out in support of Colin Kaepernick.
In an interview with News One Now’s Roland Martin, the singer and social activist applauded Kaepernick for his courage to protest racial oppression amid intense scrutiny from fans. He went on to condemn the efforts of those working to silence or shun Kaepernick for his protest.
“To mute the slave has always been to the best interest of the slave owner. And I think that when a black voice is raised in protest to oppression, those who are comfortable with our oppression are the first to criticize us for daring to speak out against it,” he said.
Belafonte, who has long been revered as a powerful voice of social activism, called Kaepernick’s stance "noble."
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And as one of the first notable entertainers of his time to use his celebrity as a platform to speak out against injustice, Belafonte is all too familiar with the backlash that comes with taking a stand. Even still, he says, it is the righteous thing to do.
“I think that it’s a noble thing that he’s done. I think that speaking out and making people aware of the fact that you are paying homage to an anthem that also has a constituency that by the millions suffer is a righteous thing to do,” he told Martin.
Kaepernick has been the center of media frenzy since announcing last week that he would no longer stand during the national anthem. While some have spoken out in support of Kaepernick’s stance, others like GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump have railed harsh criticism of the 28-year-old player.
In a pre-season game against the San Diego Chargers yesterday, Kaepernick knelt down on one knee to show respect for the military servicemen. Despite this, the crowd showered him with boos.