Colin Kaepernick and the NFL protests
In August 2016, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was photographed sitting on a bench while the national anthem was being played at a National Football League (NFL) game. “The Star-Spangled Banner”, the national anthem of the United States, is traditionally played at sporting events, and participants are expected to stand up as a show of patriotism. After the game, Kaepernick told journalists that he was protesting against the oppression of people of colour and police brutality in the United States.
Despite being accused by some of disrespecting the country’s values and history through his actions, Kaepernick continued his protest. However, Kaepernick decided to kneel instead of sitting down, as a sign of respect for military veterans. By September 2016, Kaepernick was joined by other teammates, who either kneeled or raised a fist during the national anthem. Other football teams, such as the Seattle Seahawks or the Indianapolis Colts, followed Kaepernick and his teammates’ example and sat or kneeled during the national anthem at their games.
The reaction to Kaepernick’s protest was mixed. While some expressed their belief that sports should not be mixed with polit...