You’ve seen it. If you haven’t, then I’m not entirely sure what you’ve been doing the last three years. The national anthem protests touched every corner of the American sports world from the NBA to the Women’s World Cup. These protests were hoping to call attention to social problems that our society (not just in America, either) cannot seem to figure out. People of color are incarcerated and killed by police at a higher rate than white people. Those are facts.
But the time and place of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s first demonstration, and the wave that followed him, caused a rift in society. Military veterans and red-blooded Americans trashed Kaepernick to the point where NFL teams ultimately pushed the one-time Super Bowl starter out the door. It’s been three years since Kaepernick first kneeled, but his fight continues.
On the three-year anniversary of the first time Kaepernick protested during a 2016 NFL preseason game, the social justice warrior posted a video to his social media accounts. Kaepernick’s video shows family members of young black people who were killed in police shootings, including Cary Ball, Justus Howell, Alton Sterling, Mike Brown, Nicholas Thomas, and a powerful message by young Zianna Oliphant at a Charlotte City Council meeting.
“How can you stand for the national anthem of a nation that preaches and propagates ‘freedom and justice for all’ that is so unjust to so many of the people living there? … It is our love for 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was gunned down by the police in less than two seconds that will not allow us to bury our anger. It is our love for Philando Castile, who was executed in front of his partner and his daughter that keeps us fighting back. It is our love for Stephon Clark, who was lynched in his grandma’s backyard that will not allow to stop until we liberate our people.”
— Colin Kaepernick, via Instagram
Police brutality and racial injustice were the themes of Kaepernick’s message. Despite claiming he’s “still ready” to return to an NFL roster, it’s more and more obvious that he’s going to remain a free agent because of the media circus that would descend around his anthem controversy.
Other NFL players, like Carolina Panthers safety and former teammate Eric Reid, continue to fight and protest during The Star-Spangled Banner.
No matter what President Donald Trump or anyone claims about Kaepernick being good enough to play, I promise you that he was better than football players like Nathan Peterman.