Ever since 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand up for the national anthem, he has been deemed as disrespectful, unpatriotic and even treasonous by people who are opposed to his protest.
“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 explained. “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.”
One of Kaepernick’s former teammates, Alex Boone, said it was shameful and he would have confronted the quarterback if he still played with him. Republican nominee Donald Trump said Kaepernick should “find a country that works better for him,” even as he built a campaign on the idea there are major things wrong with America. Some have claimed Kaepernick was being ignorant of the sacrifices of U.S. soldiers. All of this, in spite of the fact that Kaepernick explained his motive on his social media accounts as well as gave a statement at the end of the game.
However, the U.S. military veterans who stand in solidarity with Kaepernick are showing their support with posts about #VeteransforKaepernick.
The hashtag quickly gained momentum as former and current military personnel posted selfies and tweets that stated they understood the cause Kaepernick is fighting for.
These tweets aren’t the only expression of support from veterans. Jim Wright, who said he is retired from the U.S. Navy, posted an essay that has since gone viral, in which he slams people who oppose Kaepernick’s brand of protest. He states that it is a violation of a person’s constitutional rights to force him to pledge allegiance for something he does not believe in and said the soccer player raised valid concerns about the situation in America.
Kaepernick’s move calls attention to the systemic injustice faced by people of color in the country — which includes veterans as well. People angry over Kaepernick’s comments should take a look at the fact that veterans of color, some who were mentally ill, have also been killed by the police.
Photo Credit: Twitter/SergioThe3rd