With a gesture that virtually travelled unnoticed, the 49 ers player erupted a conversation about ethnic inequality, police brutality and the meaning of the American flag
The protest devastating the start of the NFL season began not with a scream or developed fist but an ordinance so passive it was all but invisible to the thousands who were there. On the evening of 26 August, San Francisco 49 ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national carol before the teams pre-season game against the Green Bay Packers. His defiance was nearly impossible to mark as he sat surrounded by Gatorade receptacles on the teams terrace. It might have been missed altogether had a reporter from the NFL Network not noticed and asked him about it after the game.
I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that suppresses black people and people of color, Kaepernick told the NFL Network that night .~ ATAGEND To me, this is bigger than football and it would be greedy on my part to look the other way. There are forms in the street and beings getting paid leave and going away with murder.
A firestorm followed, kindling a national debate about racial inequality, police inhumanity and the meaning of the American pennant. Kaepernick, a fading football whiz who had never seemed political, instantly became a nationally polarizing representation, much as Muhammad Ali had been when he refused to fight in the Vietnam war.
While some love torched Kaepernicks jersey, thousands more flocked to buy it his shirt is currently the top seller on the NFLs website. As many labeled him a informer, others have rushed to his surface. This week, Georgetown University sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson, an African American historian, called his affirm a intelligent thoughtfulnes on how excellent to spotlit the plague of injustice, and the motivation, lastly, to braced our nation accountable for pitch-black fatality in the streets. Three players, 49ers team-mate Eric Reid, Denver Bronco Brandon Marshall and Seattle Seahawk Jeremy Lane, have joined Kaeperkick in refusing to stand for the carol, along with womens soccer participate Megan Rapinoe.
In many spaces, Kaepernick has chosen the perfect gathering for drawing attention to Americas problems with racial difference. No major American professional tournament covers itself in overdone patriotism more than the NFL, and no other conference the NBA aside is as dominated by African American athletes.
The national hymn is a big event before activities, with honor lookouts and praises to soldiers. Giant American pennants often treat the entire land and armed spurts chatter the stadium, era their pass to match the carol final words. In some municipalities, players clutch American flags as they result their team-mates to the field. Even in supporting Kaepernicks right to protest, the other era NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was quick to include: We speculate very strongly in patriotism in the NFL.
Charged rhetoric has been pouring from the presidential expedition, and the flag becomes an hammer that some white people have utilized against African Americans in the US. At last months Olympics, black gymnast Gabby Douglas was besieged with criticism for not putting her hand on her heart as the anthem played during a amber honour ritual. But while Douglas was standing at attention to the flag, unaware that her action could be perceived as a slight, Kaepernick is intentionally sitting to objection the kind of racism that unfairly adjudicated Douglas.
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