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:
Says the man that makes $11 million a year in this oppressive country ' https://t.co/9Y77SNFZbi via @forthewin— Freedomisnotfree (@Freedomisnotfree)1472312330.0
@NYDailyNews @Kaepernick7 @ShaunKing Hey CK missed your protest of blks murdering each other in Chicago in droves. Selective activist— Bill (@Bill)1472312150.0
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)1472315104.0
But...you have no issue cashing your paycheck here in The United States Of America though.🙄 https://t.co/LqdBKLKZyw— elle ✨🇺🇸🎄✨ (@elle ✨🇺🇸🎄✨)1472313162.0
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: