Colin Kaepernick may have made a slight change to his protest, but the San Francisco 49er is still fighting for Black Americans.
The NFL quarterback continued his protest of the national anthem during a game against the San Diego Chargers, but this time instead of sitting, he took a knee along with his teammate Eric Reid. Kaepernick told reporters after a long discussion with Reid and long snapper Nate Boyer, who also served as an Army Green Beret, the three came to the decision that kneeling would be more respectful to those offended by the protest.
Kaepernick told reporters, “We were talking to him about how can we get the message back on track and not take away from the military, not take away from pride in our country but keep the focus on what the issues really are. As we talked about it, we came up with taking a knee because there are issues that still need to be addressed and there was also a way to show more respect for the men and women that fight for this country.”
Throughout the night Kaepernick continued to show his love and support for troops as the San Diego Chargers celebrated their Salute to the Military night, but continued to protest the national anthem. Kaepernick added, “Once again, I’m not anti-American. I love America. I love people. That’s why I’m doing this. I want to help make America better. I think having these conversations help everybody have a better understanding of where everybody is coming from.”
Kaepernick also caught heat Thursday after Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, learned that the quarterback had been wearing socks that depict police as pigs during training camp in August. The NFL player addressed the socks in an Instagram post, writing, “I wore these socks, in the past, because the rogue cops that are allowed to hold positions in police departments, not only put the community in danger, but also put the cops that have the right intentions in danger by creating an environment of tension and mistrust.”
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Kaepernick continues to come under fire for his protest, but the football player says he’ll continue to protest and has already started having conversations with other players about the issue. “I think there are a lot of conversations happening not only in NFL locker rooms but around the country. I’ve also had friends that aren’t on football teams say ‘I respect what you’re doing, I support you’ and I’ve had more conversations about human rights and oppression and things that need to change in the last week than I’ve had in my entire life. And the fact that those conversations are happening is a start.”