The San Francisco 49ers and quarterback Colin Kaepernick find themselves embroiled in controversy following the latter’s decision to sit during the national anthem. We’ve started to hear plenty of reactions across the spectrum. It happened Friday evening, so while it has been discussed everywhere, the major sports news cycle might not hit on it until Monday morning (sports talk radio is going to be gloriously awful!).
However, players that played in preseason games on Saturday had a chance to weigh in on the topic Saturday evening. Among those were former 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin, and Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins. Both are outspoken on a variety of topic, and are an interesting barometer for player responses. I imagine there are players on both sides of this issue, and we’ll hear more from plenty of them.
Anquan Boldin said he respects everybody’s opinion, and while Kaepernick will probably get flack for it (as he did), “that’s the great thing about being in America, you have that option." He said that he thinks a lot of people will “get bent out of shape about it," but “[e]ven if you don’t agree with what someone does, you still have to respect their opinion and how they feel about something. You can agree or disagree with it but you still have to respect it. That’s the right that we have as Americans, and that’s the great part about being an American."
Matt Barrows pointed out the fact that Boldin’s cousin was shot and killed by a police officer while waiting for roadside assistance. At the time, Boldin emphasized he was no anti-cop, but he did believe that some officers should not be in this position of power. Kaepernick’s stance comes in relation to questions of racial injustice and the Black Lives Matter movement. I don’t recall hearing much from Boldin since, but given his work in a variety of areas, it would not surprise me if he was pushing on this as well.
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins (as reported by Turron Davenport) talked about the fact that Kaepernick is standing up for what he believes, but the headlines will be about the idea that he is shaming the country or not supporting the troops. He thinks Kaepernick’s heart is in the right place, and that he was not necessarily wrong in his statement, but he might not get the results he is hoping for because of how many people choose to respond.
On a side note, Saturday morning, I went on Facebook Live to talk about the topic briefly. I normally use it to answer questions about the topic, but people were definitely not in the mood to ask reasoned, nuanced questions. Mostly they just wanted to rage about the topic. There were some people supportive of Kaepernick, but Facebook comments on pages are not always the most nuanced of options for discussing sensitive topics. Such is life!
Colin Kaepernick sat during the National Anthem, and it's a thing. Let's talk about itPosted by Niners Nation: A San Francisco 49ers Blog on Samstag, 27. August 2016