Amid much criticism, Colin Kaepernick explained why he failed to vote in the election in which Donald Trump became president-elect.
During a postgame press conference, the San Francisco 49ers player explained he did not want to participate in an oppressive system.
“You know, I think it would be hypocritical of me to vote,” Kaepernick told the San Francisco Chronicle Nov. 13. “I said from the beginning I was against oppression, I was against the system of oppression. I’m not going to show support for that system. And to me, the oppressor isn’t going to allow you to vote your way out of your oppression.”
Additionally, the persecution Kaepernick discussed is at the root of his ongoing protest of the national anthem. He said it began over “a country that oppresses Black people.”
When asked another question about Trump’s election causing him to feel “a sense of urgency” for his protest, Kaepernick responded plainly.
“I think everybody should feel urgency,” he said. “To make sure we’re doing the right thing. [And] building, you know, things the right way, in order to be able to protect ourselves from the things that may come from this.”
After the Chronicle revealed last week that Kaepernick did not participate in the 2016 presidential election, many slammed the decision, including ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.
“For him not to vote … as far as I’m concerned, everything he said meant absolutely nothing!” Smith remarked.
Still, Kaepernick’s decision not to vote should not surprise the public. In September, he told USA Today Sports neither Republican Donald Trump nor Democrat Hillary Clinton were viable candidates.
“It was embarrassing to watch that these are our two candidates,” he remarked. “Both are proven liars and it almost seems like they’re trying to debate who’s less racist.”