By Rodin Batcheller
More people are speaking out on the subject of black oppression and police brutality in this country. While their ideas of active protest may include marching, tweeting, or wearing apparel supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers quarterback, has decided to use a different method: choosing to sit down while the national anthem played at a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. Though he has holds the right to free speech, Kaepernick should stand for the national anthem out of respect for the country he plays in.
In justifying his position, Kaepernick claimed that “people don’t realize what’s really going on in this country. People aren’t being held accountable for. And that’s something that needs to change. That’s something that this country stands for freedom, liberty and justice for all. And it’s not happening for all right now.”
However, a majority of the country does not agree with the reasoning behind on his protest. Polling firm SurveyUSA revealed that over 500 people were asked whether or not they respect Kaepernick’s decision to sit out the anthem to protest police brutality in the country. 55 percent said they did not respect the decision while only 41 percent said they supported it, and another four percent said they were not sure about how to feel.
In a country where football players get paid large sums of money to play the game they love, the least they can do is stand for their country’s flag and national anthem. Kaepernick makes an average annual salary of about $19 million for playing a sport that is only recognized in the United States. On the other hand, soccer players in England are only paid an average annual salary of about $3 million, and a survey of Brazil’s soccer players showed that 82 percent of players make about $250 a month.
“There’s people being murdered unjustly and not being held accountable. People are be-
ing given paid leave for killing people. That’s not right. That’s not right by anyone’s standards,” said Kaepernick on what he thinks should be changed.
Even though Kaepernick’s intentions are good and the message he is trying to send is positive, he should employ other methods of standing up to the oppression of African Americans and police brutality. The star quarterback should use his money and fame to support movements like Black Lives Matter or Popular Resistance. If Kaepernick wants to effectively change the situation of how police treat the black community, he should spend less time sitting down and more time standing up, actively speaking out for what he believes is right.