*Spike Lee, Montel Williams and Chuck D were among the celebrities who have come out both for and against the national anthem sit-down protest staged by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick Friday – a protest he vows to continue throughout the season. For a sampling of responses, see below.
After sitting out the anthem before Friday’s home pre-season game against the Green Bay Packers, the 28-year-old, biracial Kaepernick said in a press conference, “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.”
He said, “If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”
Reaction to Kaepernick’s stand was swift, with celebs voicing either strong support (like Spike Lee and Chuck D), dismissive disapproval of the quarterback (Montel Williams), or indifference (Chad Johnson).
View a sampling below:
Good Morning. It Seems To Me A lot Of Folks Are Jumping On Colin Kaepernick’s Ass About Not Standing Up For The #National Anthem Have Forgotten About Tommie Smith And John Carlos Raising Black Gloved Fists At The 1968 Olympics And Ali’s Refusal To Be Inducted Into The U.S. Army For The Vietnam War. These Are The Same Acts Of Protest Black Athletes Should Know Before They Sound Off On Colin. For Whatever It’s Worth I Support My Brother. Of The Issues He Raised None Are LIES. Colin Is Demonstrating The Same Courage Of Smith, Carlos And Ali. YA-DIG? SHO-NUFF. And Dat’s Da Truth,Truth. Spike Lee From Planet Brooklyn.
— Montel Williams (@Montel_Williams) August 28, 2016
.@Kaepernick7 statement rings right now.There’s no fkn way there should be near 3 million people in USA prisons. Today’s jocks must speak up
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) August 28, 2016
— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) August 28, 2016
I don’t have any thoughts on his personal decisions boss, I love everybody no matter what. https://t.co/EBb6N3XvJf
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) August 27, 2016
Hey @Kaepernick7 Football is an American sport. If you’re not feeling American feel free to leave you ungrateful clown.
— Eric Bolling (@ericbolling) August 27, 2016
Good for Kaepernick, especially considering how much money the NFL makes off black guys. https://t.co/KAM3m6uv9d
— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) August 27, 2016
Kaep is using his platform & brand to make a compelling & polarizing point, which is his right, even if it’s met with ire!#idontagree
— Tiki Barber (@TikiBarber) August 27, 2016
The easy thing to do is to make fun of Kap and his play. How about trying to understand where he’s coming from….but that would be too hard
— Adrian Clayborn (@AJaClay) August 27, 2016