Following Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to rise during the national anthem, Myke Tavarres is doing the same.
Atlanta Black Star reported Kaepernick will remain seated for the pre-game tradition during the remainder of the football season. Now, the Philadelphia Eagles rookie is taking notes from the 49ners player.
In an interview with ESPN, Tavarres shared he thought about starting his protest during the Aug. 28 game against the Indiana Colts. But the linbacker plans to follow through at Thursday’s New York Jets matchup.
“Oh, I thought about it. Believe me, I definitely thought about it. And usually I’m front and center on the line with the rest of the guys,” he said. “Saturday’s game, I stepped back, I was in the background, and it didn’t feel right to me at all, and so I will be taking a stand – or sitting down – for the fourth game.”
The move follows Kaepernick’s decision not to stand during the anthem because of the continuing abuse against the Black community.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” the quarterback told NFL.com of his decision.
As for Tavarres’ reasoning, he hints at the racial issues plaguing America.
“We’ve got an issue in this country in this day and age, and I feel like somebody needs to step up and we all need to step up,” Tavarres said. “There’s just a lot going on that people don’t want to talk about, and I feel like us as athletes, we’re looked at as role models.”
He added he respected Kaepernick’s decision to protest.
Unlike his activist inspiration, however, Tavarres explained he had nothing to lose for his refusal to stand during the anthem. As a free agent, he has yet to sign a major contract with tons of money tied to it. He also does not have major endorsement deals at stake.
On the other hand, Kaepernick could lose deals with Beats by Dre and Jaguar cars, according to MarketWatch.
“Really what’s at stake is my pride,” Tavarres told ESPN. “And what kind of man would I be and what kind of African-American would I be if I didn’t stand my ground on this issue we have today?”
Update: :Tavarres told FOX29 he changed his mind, he will stand for the national anthem on Thursday’s game.
— Chris O'Connell (@CoconnellFox29) August 29, 2016