Veterans across America are taking to social media to declare their support for Colin Kaepernick. The quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers made waves Friday when he refused to stand up for the national anthem during a preseason game.
In an exclusive interview with NFL.Com, Colin Kaepernick explained:
‘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.’
The backlash started right away from the sources you’d expect, including Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, and The Blaze. Colin Kaepernick’s coach, President Barack Obama, and those who sympathize with the Black Lives Matter movement had his back from the start. Yet veterans have swiftly emerged as among his staunchest defenders with the hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick. Within hours, the hashtag went viral.
Strong support for Colin Kaepernick from those who’ve served may come as a surprise to the likes of Donald Trump and Sarah Palin. After all, you’d expect those who’ve put their lives on the line for our country to demand proper respect for our flag.
Luckily, our nation’s veterans appear to have a far more nuanced idea of what it means to be an American.
Veterans explain WHY they support Colin Kaepernick’s stand on racism.
The veterans who showed solidarity with Colin Kaepernick come from all walks of life and branches of the military but they have this in common: They believe in people’s right to stand up for what they believe in, and in our First Amendment right to free speech
McAnthony Brisco, who served in Iran, flatly declared that Colin Kaepernick can “sit or stand as long as the flag waves.”
— McAnthony Brisco (@Bcounty510) August 31, 2016
A man who served in the U.S. Navy says he didn’t “do a seven-month deployment” to serve the interests of racists and bigots.
— RTED.ORG (@RTED2016) August 31, 2016
@Baltic_Avenue tweeted a picture of himself in Afghanistan and declared “I didn’t volunteer to defend a country where police brutality is swept under the rug.”
— Baltic Avenue (@Baltic_Avenue) August 31, 2016
Kathy Hall served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and “heard from many” about the importance of free speech.
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) August 31, 2016
Erica Diggs served for eight years and says she’s “a firm believer of freedom of speech and expression.”
— Erica Diggs (@DiggsandCo) 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
Protesting the anthem isn't disrespecting the troops. Lynching a WWII vet (like my grandfather) – IS. #VeteransForKaepernick
— Ben Cisco (@BenCisco) August 31, 2016
— Col. Morris Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) August 31, 2016
— D (@Delo_Taylor) August 31, 2016
The #VeteransForKaepernick hashtag has made my evening – what real patriotism looks like
— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) August 31, 2016
— Loebe-Wan Kenobi (@PaulLoebe) August 31, 2016
— Nicole (@dcmbrdiva) August 31, 2016
— Isaac wright (@I_Zac33) August 31, 2016