*Now that the Olympics are over, and the controversy over gymnast Gabby Douglas standing to listen to the national anthem — but without her hand over her heart — has faded, attention has turned to a new athlete and a new scandal, this one also anthem-related.
In the latest urban news, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has caused a stir after he chose to not stand up during the national anthem at a recent game. In a protest against all the wrongdoings against minorities and African-Americans in the U.S., Kaepernick sat down on the bench while the rest of his teammates rose to pay respects to the American flag.
Almost immediately, this action landed Kaepernick on all the latest entertainment magazines and social media, along with numerous black gossip sites. Everyone seems to have differing opinions on whether it was right for him, as not only a professional athlete, but as a African-American of influence, to express his beliefs in such a controversial way.
In a statement to the NFL Media, Kaepernick explained his actions by saying, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. 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.”
Several days later, just as the scandal was starting to die down, Kaepernick was seen a training camp practice wearing socks adorned with pigs wearing police hats, sparking another urban news controversy.
Now, police officers across the nation are enraged at the football player’s actions, particularly because he has such a vast fan base. Considering the fact that 45% of adults believe that celebrities can make a tremendous difference when it comes to issues they are promoting, the police believe Kaepernick has the ability to turn public opinion of police officers even more negative than it may already be.
When asked why he would do something that could be deemed “ignorant” or “disrespectful,” Kaepernick again blamed his actions on rogue cops who put the communities they work for in danger for selfish purposes.
So where does this leave the football star? Despite the squabble with the media, Kaepernick is sticking to his beliefs and sitting down.