After Colin Kaepernick announced he won’t rise for the national anthem during the upcoming football season, many bashed him. The criticism of the San Francisco 49ers quarterback stems from his supposed lack of patriotism. But one group is standing in solidarity.
The hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick emerged on Twitter Aug. 30, and many soldiers voiced their experience as Black men and women in the military and at home.
Blorenzo pointed out his grandfather served in Vietnam twice but was unable to rent a home in America because of his race.
#VeteransForKaepernick Although my grandfather served two tours in Vietnam, he couldn't even rent a home near his base b/c he was black.
— B-lorenzo (@blorenzo) August 30, 2016
User blasianbri’s grandfather had a similar experience while attempting to book a hotel room in his uniform.
And Ms. Bordeaux’s veteran fiancé continues to get placed in handcuffs during traffic stops.
My fiance served not 1 BUT 2 tours in Iraq and STILL gets pulled out of his car, handcuffed and sat on the curb by #VeteransforKaepernick
— EqualRights,Lefts&Uppercuts (@InezBordeaux) August 30, 2016
@Troncat_Montana called out others who try to explain military members’ feelings without being a part of it.
People who haven't served trying to tell us how we feel 🤔 #VeteransForKaepernick pic.twitter.com/LQo8EgfkgQ
— Eastside Kimmy (@Flawlessvik11) August 31, 2016
Nicole shared that her quarter-century-long military service was to protect the First Amendment rights of all Americans.
@Kaepernick7 I served 25yrs in the AF to protect everyone's 1st Amend rights. I support you #VeteransForKaepernick pic.twitter.com/Q7r7PfvryA
— Nicki Jai (@dcmbrdiva) August 31, 2016
@JoeOnDemand shared his reason for serving: Kaepernick’s right to protest and not police brutality.
I serve for his right to protest.. I don't serve for Police Brutality.. #VeteransForKaepernick pic.twitter.com/Q6GUNTwHDO
— 𝕁𝕖𝕒𝕦𝕩 (@JoeOnDemand) August 31, 2016
Phillip Richardson held freedom in a higher regard than America’s anthem.
And @LiberationBrown did not separate her Blackness from her status as a soldier.
Other Twitter users largely supported the hashtag.
Benjamin Dixon tweeted naysayers’ realization about #VeteransForKaepernick.
When they realize they cant say anything about #VeteransForKaepernick w/o "disrespecting" the flag or the country pic.twitter.com/2Z9Ty4WGOE
— Benjamin Dixon (@BenjaminPDixon) August 31, 2016
And Awesomely Luvvie shared a sappy reaction to the veterans’ support.
This #VeteransForKaepernick hashtag got me like pic.twitter.com/E6K9OanVUq
— Luvvie is writing book 2 (@Luvvie) August 31, 2016
But some reactions were less than favorable.
Heinrich accused supporters of being new military members who “don’t understand why what Colin did is bad.”
And Jarami Feith deemed it “stupid” and compared it to the #POWsForTrump hashtag.
#VeteransForKaepernick is a lot like #POWsForTrump
Really, really stupid.
— Jarami Feith💣 (@JarBomb) August 31, 2016
Some accused Kaepernick of being anti-military for his stance. However, he made it clear he has “great respect” for the individuals who served. The athlete also shared he has family and friends who fought for the nation.
He took issue with the way police treat veterans on American soil.
“I’ve seen circumstances where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they have fought for,” he told press Aug. 28. “And have been murdered by the country they fought for, on our land. That’s not right.”