Veterans are coming to the defense of NFL player Colin Kaepernick after he's received backlash over his decision to sit during the national anthem. Last week during a preseason game, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback said he refused to stand as a sign of protest against how people of color are treated in the US.
"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 Media. "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."
People were outraged by his actions, with some fans burning his jersey and others saying his actions were an insult to veterans who've fought for our freedom. Now some veterans are speaking out in support of Kaepernick using the hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick, which started trending on Twitter.
Not all agree with his decision but said his ability to protest is why they served our country.
— Miss B. (@brittneeraebaby) August 31, 2016
— Marco (@BasedMarcoM) August 31, 2016
— Erica Diggs (@DiggsandCo) August 31, 2016
Others acknowledged the importance of standing up for racial injustice.
— SH🍔N (@brownlashon) August 31, 2016
Don't use my service--or that of any veteran--to justify the silencing of black Americans. Not on my watch. #VeteransForKaepernick
— Charles Clymer (@cmclymer) August 31, 2016
— Baltic Avenue (@Baltic_Avenue) August 31, 2016
#VeteransForKaepernick Although my grandfather served two tours in Vietnam, he couldn't even rent a home near his base b/c he was black.
— Blorenzo (@blorenzo) August 30, 2016
— Ed Beck (@DEdwardBeck) August 31, 2016
— Liberation Brown (@LiberationBrown) August 31, 2016
— Blake J. Stanfill (@ShimmiHendrix) August 31, 2016
Earlier this week, one veteran's Facebook post defending Kaepernick also went viral after he wrote, "A true veteran might not agree with Colin Kaepernick, but a true veteran would fight to the death to protect his right to say what he believes."