49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refuses to stand for national anthem

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is taking a stand. He refused to stand during the national anthem due to his feeling that the United States is mistreating racial minorities. "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 Network. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder." The 49ers issued a statement about Kaepernick sitting on the bench during the national anthem against the Green Bay Packers. "The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pregame ceremony," the statement said. "It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem." Kaepernick said he didn't tell the team about his plans. "This is not something that I am going to run by anybody," he said. "I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. ... If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right."  
Aaron Wilson
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post, his second stint at the Post. He has previously written for Pro Football Talk and FOX Sports-Scout. Entering his 13th year covering the Baltimore Ravens, he's a beat writer for The Baltimore Sun. Wilson has also covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

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