On August 26, 2016, former NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick publicly addresses taking a knee during the national anthem for the first time.
At the end of a preseason game in 2016, then San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick speaks for the first time about his decision to sit for the national anthem.
When talking to the NFL media for the first time about his decision to sit during the anthem he says:
- “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. 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.”
The NFL and the San Francisco 49ers both released statements acknowledging Kaepernick’s right to protest while also reiterating their wish for all players to stand during the anthem.
In the games that followed, Kaepernick decided to kneel instead of sitting out of respect for the military, after speaking with others. Unfortunately that didn’t do much to stop the controversy.
After leaving the 49ers at the end of that season, Kaepernick never received another NFL contract. Despite not playing in the NFL, throughout the years Kapernick has used his platform to continue to advocate for black lives and social justice.