Colin Kaepernick: Martyr or Hypocrite



San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) leaves the field after the San Francisco 49ers 30-17 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group/TNS)

Devin Bradshaw, Sports Editor

We all have an opinion these days, especially in the times at hand. Due to the state of the nation, the injustices of our country, and the presidential election that just occurred. We all, now more than ever, have real interest in what is going on in this country. Since the National Football League season kicked off, the actual games have not been the most compelling stories. Since San Francisco 49ers, then backup, Quarterback Colin Kaepernick made, one of the boldest statements in sports history. On Friday August 26, the sports world and the world all around were shaken to its core. During the most “patriotic” spectacle in sports, our national anthem, Kaepernick did something unthinkable; he took a stand for what he believed in… by sitting down on the bench during the anthem. I was shocked but proud that someone finally had the courage to use their platform speak up. In an article from, Kaepernick stated “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he continued, “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.” He’s continued with his protest, altering it slightly by taking a knee now instead of sitting. He went around preaching his message and pointing out how he feels. Many other players have joined him to also spread the message of an unjust America that needs to be changed. When asked if the election this year had anything to do with the timing of his protest, per, Kaepernick told media “It wasn’t a timing thing, it wasn’t something that was planned. But I think the two presidential candidates that we currently have also represent the issues that we have in this country right now.” “You have Hillary who has called black teens or black kids super predators, you have Donald Trump who’s openly racist. We have a presidential candidate who has deleted emails and done things illegally and is a presidential candidate. That doesn’t make sense to me because if that was any other person you’d be in prison. So, what is this country really standing for?” These examples show the lack of confidence Kaepernick had in either candidate. The questions were posed to Kaepernick, “Have you voted?” ”No” ”Will you vote?” ”No, to me it didn’t really matter who went in there, the system still remains intact that oppresses people of color.” This latest decision has caused quite a stir. His refusal to choose a candidate has left many people angry and confused though myself and many others agree and support his decision. Sports personality Stephen A. Smith, who previously agreed and supported Kaepernick’s protest, held nothing back in stating that by not voting in the election Kaepernick “betrayed his cause”. “I don’t want to see him again, I don’t want to hear from him again, I don’t want to hear a damn word about anything that he has to say about our nation, the issues that we have, racial injustices, needing change.” he goes on, calling Kaepernick a hypocrite and irrelevant. Like many others, I agree with Kaepernick’s stance, as I too did not and never planned to vote for some of the same reasons. I felt that both of the candidates were not qualified to be in this position and they both had more negatives than positives about them. And that whoever got into office things would not change much. The issues are the same still and neither of them presented logical reasons for me to choose one from the other as with Kaepernick. At least Kaepernick is making a stand where it seems like many Americans fall flat.