The Kaepernick affect

The National Anthem is a sensitive topic for many Americans, and has never seen this much attention since its creation in 1814 by Francis Scott Key. Since the start of the 2016 NFL preseason, an increasing number of players have been silently protesting the anthem. The controversy is centered around 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who first protested the anthem on August 26 in a preseason game versus the Green Bay Packers. Since then over 20 NFL players have joined Kaepernick in protest.with different gestures like raising their fists, locking arms, and kneeling during the anthem. The players identify with the Black Lives Matter movement, which started after a string of unarmed black civilian killings by police officers across the country.


49er’s Colin Kaepernick,

Kaepernick has received much ridicule for his actions, yet continues the silent protest. His “haters” took to twitter to express their rage calling him “un-American”, and many other offensive terms. Despite all the negativity directed towards him, he has received support. Some notable supporters of Kaepernick include President Barack Obama,Spike Lee, and San Francisco 49er’s great Jerry Rice. Kaepernick has received much hate from war veterans, but has also been supported by vets. The hashtag “VeteransForKaepernick” has been trending all over social media, as veterans defend the quarterbacks actions.

NFL players do not stand alone in protest. Since Kaepernick’s protest in late August, similar actions have been seen all across the sports world. On September 2, a Brunswick high school football player took a knee during the national anthem. The player Rodney Axson, has received racial threats from his fellow teammates since his silent protest. Now midway through September, cases of protest have been reported across the country of college and high school sports teams. In my home state of Minnesota, South Minneapolis’s girls volleyball team all took a knee during the anthem. During Edina’s homecoming national anthem, several black players took a knee. These acts of protests are increasing throught high schools and colleges in the country.

Kaepernick has also received support from other professional athletes. On September 4, soccer star Megan Rapinoe took knee before her NWSL game against the Chicago Red Stars. Post game she was interviewed, “I am disgusted with the way [Kaepernick] has been treated and the fans and hatred he has received in all of this,” Rapinoe said.


Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe,

Kaepernick has been somewhat quite during this controversy, but did interview with the NFL Media.”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 Steve Wyche.”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.”

Colin Kaepernick is right – this is way bigger than football.


  1. Diana Morton. AP says:

    Nice article. Important topic and well-written.

  2. Deborah Shipp says:

    Thank you for a very insightful look at this issue.

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