Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the talk of the NFL Monday after sitting down during the national anthem of San Francisco’s preseason games in protest of the race relations in the United States.
Some have been fiercely critical of Kaepernick’s protest. Others, such as Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, see it through two lenses, agreeing with the message but disagreeing with the method.
“I totally respect Colin’s right to do what he did,” Arians said on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Bickley and Marotta show. “I disagree with it as who I am. I tear up and stand for the national anthem every game because every person who’s lost their life — race, religion, gender — defending that flag, that’s why I stand. We’re honoring them every time.”
The comments are similar to that of Kaepernick’s former San Francisco head coach, Jim Harbaugh, who is now leading the Michigan Wolverines. Harbaugh misspoke Monday when asked about Kaepernick’s protest during a press conference but clarified his point on Twitter.
Kaepernick has confronted the criticisms by saying his sitting is a protest of a nation that has seen several cases of police brutality of late.
“There is police brutality,” Kaepernick told 49ers reporters on Sunday. “People of color have been targeted by police. So that’s a large part of it and they’re government officials. They are put in place by the government. So that’s something that this country has to change. There’s things we can do to hold them more accountable. Make those standards higher.
“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 NFL.com in an interview.
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