Stand or sit for your rights

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick stands on the field before their NFL pre-season football game against the Denver Broncos in San Francisco, California, U.S. August 8, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick stands on the field before their NFL pre-season football game against the Denver Broncos in San Francisco, California, U.S. August 8, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick stands on the field before their NFL pre-season football game against the Denver Broncos in San Francisco, California, U.S. August 8, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo

Colin Kaepernick has been making headlines a lot lately for not standing during the national anthem. Kaepernick told the media, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

He told NFL media in an interview after a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, “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 streets and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Kaepernick claims he is protesting for injustice of minorities who have been a victims of police brutality. Many other football players, like Arian Foster, Eric Reid, Martellus Bennett and Devin McCourty, have shown their support by taking a knee during the national anthem. In addition, other athletes outside of football have shown their support. U.S International and Seattle Reign soccer player Megan Rapinoe took a knee during the national anthem. Rapinoe told American Soccer Now that what she did was a, “little nod to Kaepernick and everything that he’s standing for right now.” She added, “I think it’s actually pretty disgusting the way he was treated and the way that a lot of the media has covered it and made it about something that it absolutely isn’t. We need to have a more thoughtful, two-sided conversation about racial issues in this country.”

All things considered, I feel like this situation reflects a massive issue in America right now. Other athletes are standing up for what they see wrong in this country, by sitting down. On one side of the argument, Kaepernick sheds light on racism, a subject that many people sweep under the rug.

On the other hand, one may question how sitting during the national anthem is really making a difference.

In this situation I feel that we should not take a side whether a person should sit or stand during the national anthem; we, as one nation, should recognize that there is a problem with racism in America and work towards a solution. Kaepernick might not be protesting in a way everyone understands or relates, but he is using his platform as a well-known professional athlete.

We should try to understand the message he is sending out, no matter if you are for or against him simply not standing. Let’s walk in someone else’s shoes. Everybody in America should have the same opportunities in life.

Given these points, people from all walks of life have fought for the flag. They fought for what the flag represents; free speech, justice and liberty. Kaepernick is using his free speech to say there is no justice and no liberty.

Many of U.S veterans have even stood by Kaepernick. There is a “VeteransForKaepernick” hashtag on Twitter for veterans that are supporting him. And Twitter user, @CharlieinCT, tweeted, “I’m with @Kaepernick7. I’m a vet. I care about people’s right to take a stand. It makes us better & smarter.”