San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to no longer stand for the national anthem in an effort to draw attention to the way African Americans are treated in the U.S. has set off a firestorm of criticism and, unsurprisingly, a deluge a racist attacks.
Commentators pointed out that the athlete remained sitting on the bench as the anthem played during Friday night’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.
In a post-game interview on the NFL Network, Kaepernick explained that he was taking a different kind of stand, referencing Black Lives Matter in a roundabout way.
“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 reporters. “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.”
Criticism on Twitter ran from attacks on Kaepernick by questioning his patriotism in light of the millions he earns as an NFL star, to extensive use of the “N-word” from racists who are a source of many of the problems African Americans face in the U.S,.
A sampling below:
— logicalhuman (@_BMHarris) August 27, 2016
This nigger Colin Kaepernick has a $114M contract to throw a fucking ball. Yeah, blacks are so oppressed in America.
— AdolfJoeBiden™ (@Bidenshairplugz) August 27, 2016
Colin Kaepernick is "keepin it real" and gets the prestigious "nigger of the day" award overtaking Will Smith in hardcore nigger status.
— nate (@bloodandsoil5) August 27, 2016
Blatant disrespect doesn't work well for impacting change. Feel free to find a country that supports you better. #Colin Kaepernick
— Paul Hoffman (@papac00772) August 27, 2016
— Nike Nick (@dbfd3) August 27, 2016
Colin Kaepernick is oppressed? All those millions of dollars and FREEDOM TO PROTEST must be so hard to cope with. How does he do it?
— accordracer (@accordracer) August 27, 2016
Between the political activism of Roger Goodell and Colin Kaepernick, the NFL is really beginning to nauseate me.
— NtheNite2 (@NtheNite2) August 27, 2016
The 49ers should refuse to stand and watch Colin Kaepernick play football & no longer support a QB whose play horribly oppresses their team
— Kick (@MatthewKick) August 27, 2016
But…you have no issue cashing your paycheck here in The United States Of America though.🙄https://t.co/LqdBKLKZyw
— mrs. g (@SurfPHX) August 27, 2016
All of you faggot cucks worshiping nigger athletes like Colin Kaepernick are getting what you want. You want to be shit on. Kill yourselves.
— MOBI-WAN (@28thVerse) August 27, 2016
If Colin Kaepernick wants to make a real statement he should burn the flag while sitting down during the national anthem. That'll show 'em!
— Andy O'Bryan (@andyobryan) August 27, 2016
FUCK COLIN KAEPERNICK BUM ASS NIGGA
— DA SUSPENDED GAWD (@FromNorthPhilly) August 27, 2016
Colin Kaepernick can leave the millions he made IN the United States and go to another country. What a joke.
— Shauna (@_ShaunaAlexis) August 27, 2016
There was also plenty of support for Kaepernick — including from the 49er’s who said they respected his decision — but one tweet summed up those who are ripping about the quarterback’s stance:
Why is the crowd that says America is no longer great, upset with Colin Kaepernick for pointing out flaws in America?
— Alphonso (@VGIII) August 27, 2016