Colin Kaepernick thought about all the possible backlash that would come along with his national-anthem protest including, sadly, death threats.
Kaepernick said he has gotten some death threats from a “couple different avenues” since he started sitting, and then kneeling, for the national anthem. Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, is protesting racial injustice and police brutality.
“No, to me, if something like that were to happen, you’ve proved my point,” said Kaepernick, who spent 15 minutes at his locker Tuesday with reporters. “And it will be loud and clear for everyone why it happened. And that would move this movement forward at a greater speed than what it is even now.”
Kaepernick said he knew there would be issues when he started his protest, so death threats are “not something I haven’t thought about.”
It’s sad that someone peacefully protesting, even during the national anthem, would even need to worry about death threats. But we were reminded why Kaepernick is protesting, when Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man, was shot with a stun gun by a male officer and then shot and killed by a female officer in Tulsa, Okla.
“They shot and killed a man and walked around like it wasn’t a human being,” Kapernick told the San Francisco Chronicle. “People are being killed and not even being treated as human beings. No one went and checked on him, no one tried to resuscitate him. Nothing. They walked around, went about their business and made up lies to cover up the murder they just committed. That’s not right and they should be in prison for that.”
Kaepernick isn’t just kneeling during the anthem, he is speaking out about his cause and also donating to it. He pledged to give $1 million to different organizations, and told reporters on Tuesday he will give $100,000 per month for 10 months and a website will track which organizations his donations go to.
Some fans have heckled Kaepernick at 49ers games. The Chronicle wrote that some gave him the middle finger in Charlotte at halftime of the 49ers-Carolina Panthers game.
“They either don’t care about what’s going on, or they don’t understand it,” Kaepernick told the Chronicle. “I find it very hard that people don’t understand what’s going on.”
He’s right about that. Very few who are critical of the protests have actually listened to what he or other players, like Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, have said about it. A lot of people who have yelled so loudly about players kneeling or raising a fist during the anthem haven’t bothered to read about what the players want to see changed, or their motivation behind kneeling during the anthem. Some intentionally mislabel it as an anti-military protest, when the players have gone out of their way to say they respect the military. Marshall has even said he has family members who are veterans and he plans to donate to causes that support veterans.
“One of the things I’ve noticed throughout this is there’s a lot of racism in this country disguised as patriotism,” Kaepernick said, according to CSN Bay Area. “And people want to take everything back to the flag, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking racial discrimination, inequalities and injustices that are happening across the nation.”
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