Published: Tue, September 27, 2016
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Number of Athletes Supporting Kaepernick's Protest Grows

Number of Athletes Supporting Kaepernick's Protest Grows

When Colin Kaepernick began protesting the national anthem during the preseason, there were a handful of NFL players that joined him the following week. In the following weeks, the number of players protesting in the NFL and sports world has grown, showing that Kaepernick’s protest is gaining some momentum. While the protests haven’t affected NFL sportsbook betting, it has raised awareness about the injustice going on in the country, especially for minorities.

After Sunday’s games, more than 40 players have joined Kaepernick’s protest. This week, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback was joined by Eric Reid and Eli Harold, who both took a knee during the national anthem. Teammates Jaquiski Tartt, Mike Davis, Keith Reaser, Rashard Robinson, and Antoine Bethea raised their right fists.

Kaepernick and his teammates were joined across the league by players like Denver’s Brandon Marshall, a college roommate of Kaepernick’s, and Miami’s Arian Foster.

As the number of players taking a knee or raising their first grows, the number of fans that don’t appreciate the gesture grows as well.

During the week, Kaepernick revealed that he has been receiving death threats because of his stance, which isn’t surprising considering the amount of vitriol that has been spewed since he started protesting.

Fans in the stands have been holding up signs telling Kaepernick and the protesting players to essentially shut up and stick to football, or telling them to get out of the country if they don’t like it.

The most common reason people are against Kaepernick’s protest is the fact that they feel he is disrespecting the members of the military that sacrificed their lives for the freedoms all Americans enjoy. 

However, many veterans have come out in support of Kaepernick and his protest, which started trending on social media last month with the veteransforkaepernick hashtag.

Despite the support from veterans, many fans still feel Kaepernick’s protest is wrong and have been very vocal about their opinions. Last week, another high-profile person weighed in on the controversy.

Former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka sat down for an interview this week, and not surprisingly, he isn’t a fan of the protests. Ditka even went as far as to say he didn’t have any respect for Kaepernick because of what he is doing. Like others before him, Ditka said the protest was insulting to military members and also suggested that the football field is not the platform for Kaepernick to voice his opinion.

The one thing all these people seem to forget is that there is never a right time or place for a protest. The point of a protest is to draw attention to something perceived as an injustice, which is exactly what Kaepernick and the players have done.

A lot of the people that have been quick to condemn the protests don’t have an idea about what minorities in the country are going through, which is why it is easy for them to condemn the protests. To compound matters, this past week, an unarmed African-American male with his hands up in the air surrounded by at least five officers was shot and killed, but the man that blew up bombs in New York and shot at officers was apprehended alive. 

Until there is more accountability for officers involved in the deaths of unarmed minorities, expect to see more athletes join Kaepernick’s protest.

Like this: