San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick explained his decision not to stand for the national anthem this season. The move, made before the Aug. 27 preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, split fans.
Fans used #ISupportKaepernickBecause to show support as racists expressed their disdain.
“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.
The pro footballer also declined to rise during two previous preseason games, but ESPN reported it went unnoticed.
Kaepernick’s backers expressed their agreement using a hashtag commending his choice.
@sabokitty called out the excuse handed to Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte in comparison to the footballer’s honesty about America’s racial climate.
@theonlyadult gave the footballer support for jeopardizing his career. Kaepernick told NFL press his decision to protest is “bigger than football.”
Greggles pointed to the heavy support Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gained for his racist platform, as fans turned on Kaepernick.
D commended the 28-year-old for using his platform to “make Black liberation a reality.”
#ISupportKaepernickBecause Black athletes like him have the power to make Black Liberation a reality & not merely a slogan.
— #RIPBassemMasri 🙏 (@Delo_Taylor) August 28, 2016
But many expressed their irritation with the NFLer and tagged him in a slew of vile, racist tweets.
Josh Nicholson told the athlete to “get out of the country” before calling him a “stupid f—— n—–.”
Fletch called the 49er “disgraceful,” and took a jab at his adoption.
User hibbidy dibbidy doo called Kaepernick the n-word before telling him he is white, referring to his birth mother, Heidi Russo.
While PRock deployed the “go back to Africa” insult.
Still, Kaepernick said he will continue to sit during the U.S. anthem for the remainder of the season.
“When there’s [a] significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”
The decision follows the continuing deaths of Black men by police in America. In July, the incidents reached a peak after Louisiana police shot Alton Sterling outside a convenience store. Within 24 hours, a cop shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop in Minnesota.