Colin Kaepernick has made a name for himself not through his professional football playing but through his side-career as an activist. Because he refused to stand for the national anthem during the 2016 NFL season, he created a way for athletes, from the professional down to the high school level, to protest racial inequality and police brutality in the country. The San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback has since approached many media outlets to have them spread his message to even more people. But during the presidential campaign, Kaepernick spoke out during the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. And he wanted the country to know that he distrusted both candidates.
After the first presidential debate, Colin Kaepernick spoke to The Sacramento Bee about his disappointment in America and the two main presidential candidates.
“Both are proven liars, and it almost seems like they’re trying to debate who’s less racist,” Kaepernick said. “At this point — talking to one of my friends — you have to pick the lesser of two evils. But in the end, it’s still evil.”
Then Kaepernick turned his fangs on then Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. At that point, Trump responded by telling Kaepernick to leave America if he didn’t like it.
“It’s a very ignorant statement that if you don’t agree with what’s going on here and that if you want justice and liberty and freedom for all you should leave the country,” said Kaepernick. “He always says, ‘Make America great again.’ Well, America has never been great for people of color. That’s something that needs to be addressed. Let’s make America great for the first time.”
Kaepernick has caused a stir across the country simply by taking a knee during the anthem. This has caused people to attack him for disrespecting the flag and the military. But Kaepernick continues to rally his cause against police brutality.
“I think that’s people responding to the oppression that’s going on, the injustices that are going on, officers walking free for murder,” said Kaepernick.
Now that Colin Kaepernick has become a household name, people from his past are coming forward to speak about the impact he is having.
“One day, maybe my youngest, who is in second grade, is going to open up a history book and he’ll read about Colin,” Phil Sanchez, Colin Kaepernick’s high school guidance counselor, told Kent Babb this summer. “And it won’t have anything to do with throwing a touchdown.”
Even the Dallas Cowboys have taken a knee to show solidarity with Kaepernick’s cause. And this came after they vowed to prevent their players the right to kneel.
Among the first people to join Kaepernick in the protest was his teammate on the 49ers Eric Reid who plays as a safety.
“We chose to kneel because it’s a respectful gesture,” Reid wrote Monday in a New York Times op-ed. “I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy.”
How should Trump respond to Kaepernick’s comments about “racist” America?