Among football fans, there are a lot of mixed emotions when it comes to Colin Kaepernick and his national anthem protest.
When the former San Francisco starting quarterback decided in the 2016 season not to stand during the singing of the anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality against Black people, he received a lot of support but also a lot of backlash.
Many people, including several current NFL players, even believe the free agent has been intentionally blackballed by team owners for his stance. Several less-talented QBs have been signed this season, while Kaepernick, who took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2013 and played well, remains unsigned.
Not many white players have chimed in on the controversy since it unfolded. However, one who is speaking out now is Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers and he isn’t mincing words: The Packers star says the reason Kaepernick is not currently on a team is because of his protest during the anthem. Period.
“I think he should be on a roster right now,” Rodgers told ESPN.
Rodgers said he stands during the anthem and will continue to do so, but he understands why Kaepernick made the decision he did.
“I’m gonna stand because that’s the way I feel about the flag. But, I’m also 100-percent supportive of my teammates or any fellow players who are choosing not to,” Rodgers said.
“They have a battle for racial equality. That’s what they’re trying to get a conversation started around.”
Another white player weighing in is Cleveland’s Seth DeValve, who was the first white player to kneel during the anthem. The Browns tight end, who is married to a Black woman and has mixed-race children, said that with all the protests and racial issues in this country, he not only understands Kaepernick’s stance, he shares it.
“I myself will be raising children that don’t look like me, and I want to do my part as well to do everything I can to raise them in a better environment than we have right now,” DeValve said.
“So, I wanted to take the opportunity with my teammates during the anthem to pray for our country and also to draw attention to the fact that we have work to do.”