The New York Giants want to make sure Americans are clear that they don’t agree with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand during the national anthem.
The controversy started when Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem during a pre-season game, telling NFL.com:
“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. …
“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”
This didn’t sit too well with most Americans, and led veterans like Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer to respond:
“Colin Kaepernick needs to remember that a lot of men and women bled for that flag he refuses to stand for. A lot of those men and women were African-Americans who fought, bled, and died on behalf of that flag and those freedoms.
“That flag stands for freedom and has nothing to do with the issue he is trying to portray. But, if he feels this is something he has to do, he should rock on. Because that’s what freedom is all about.”
For their part, the San Francisco 49ers have tried to walk the line between public outcry and supporting their quarterback in this press release:
“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pregame ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.
— Brian Alexander (@speedyredhawk) August 27, 2016
The New York Giants took it one step further during the national anthem of their preseason game, sending a message loud and clear by ALL standing in front of the line as the anthem echoed through the stadium.
Pretty deliberate sideline for the Giants during the anthem tonight. All players and staff standing. pic.twitter.com/5iqUJp4eqQ
— tara sullivan (@Record_Tara) August 27, 2016