49ers’ Colin Kaepernick Refuses to Stand for National Anthem in Protest of Police Killings

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick stands on the field before an NFL pre-season game against the Denver Broncos in 2013. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick stands on the field before an NFL pre-season game against the Denver Broncos in 2013. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)

Colin Kaepernick took a stand against police violence on Friday night by taking a seat. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback refused to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” before a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on Friday because, he said, “There are bodies in the street.”

“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 NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game that the 49ers lost, 17-3. “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.”

This is not the first time the 28-year-old has spoken out against police violence. Kaepernick has long been a supporter of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, recently taking a stand in the wake of the police killing of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La.

“This is what lynchings look like in 2016!” he wrote on Instagram accompanying a video of Sterling’s shooing. “Another murder in the streets because the color of a man’s skin, at the hands of the people who they say will protect us. When will they be held accountable? Or did he fear for his life as he executed this man?”

The 49ers remained mum about Kaepernick’s activism until Friday night’s protest. The team released a statement neither condemning nor celebrating Kaepernick’s actions.

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SOURCE: Marissa Payne 
The Washington Post

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