By preseason game three, people started to notice that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was sitting through the national anthem, and when he was asked about it Kaepernick openly said that he was protesting police brutality.
Then preseason game four came and Kaepernick continued by kneeling on “Salute to the Military” night in San Diego. That time he was joined by teammate Eric Reid.
Since then, numerous demonstrations have popped up all across the NFL.
Miami Dolphins players were seen taking knees, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters raised a fist, the Seattle Seahawks linked arms, Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall took a knee, Titans players Jurrell Casey, Jason McCourty and Wesley Woodyard raised a fist and Patriots players Martellus Bennett and Devin McCourty did the same.
When asked this week how he feels about the response from players around the league, Kaepernick said “It’s just great, you can see everybody’s paying attention.”
On Monday Night Football, Kaepernick continued his protest by kneeling through the national anthem, again with teammate Eric Reid.
Los Angeles Rams players also raised fists.
Kaepernick has said that he will continue to do so until he sees “significant change.” He has also said that his protest has nothing to do with the military, despite what many critics charge.
“I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country,” he has said. “I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. That’s not happening.”
More than a few veterans have voiced their support of Kaepernick, saying that he has the right to sit.
Others, however, including a Gold Star mom, have criticized Kaepernick heavily.