Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers of
the National Football League, has received widespread attention and stirred controversy by choosing not to stand when the national anthem is played before a game.
“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 after a 49ers preseason game
against Green Bay. “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,” Kaepernick said, referencing multiple cases of officers getting paid leave after shooting
a black person, including cases this summer in Miami, Minnesota and Florida.
John Brown University students and athletes shared their thoughts on Kaepernick’s stand.
“Initially I feel like as an athlete representing the U.S.A
on a professional level,he should honor our country by standing for the national anthem,” Brittney Ayers, senior
psychology major and JBU volleyball player However, I do believe that he has the right to stand for what he believes in.
“I respect that he’s standing up for what he believes in because he’s in a position to raise awareness and make an impact,” Ayers added.
Celeste Lindsey is a sophomore art and illustration major and
secretary of Multicultural Organization of Students Active In
“I support what he’s standing for,” Lindsey said. “Hopefully this is something that will cause America to be
like, ‘Hey, maybe since all of these people have been protesting stuff maybe we should look into this and see why
they’re so upset and do something about it.”
Zach Bower, junior biblical and theological studies major, said he supports Kaepernick’s right to sit down during
the national anthem because he himself does not pledge during the pledge of allegiance.
“I can’t pledge allegiance to the Bible and Christian flag
and at the same time pledge my allegiance to America because they will have competing goals,” Bower said.
Bower added that he supports Kaepernick’s statement itself, as
well as his right to make a statement.
“There are cops who are racists and who are in places of authority,” Bower said, mentioning the fatal shooting of Alton
Sterling in Louisiana in July. “As a nation we are not racist, but as a nation we do need to take a stand for what is happening within our nation.”
“I don’t pledge allegiance to
the flag, personally.”