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Opinion: Colin Kaepernick makes a stand

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Opinion: Colin Kaepernick makes a stand

On August 26, 2016, Colin Kaepernick sat down during the playing of the U.S. national anthem.

On August 26, 2016, Colin Kaepernick sat down during the playing of the U.S. national anthem.

Wikipedia

On August 26, 2016, Colin Kaepernick sat down during the playing of the U.S. national anthem.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia

On August 26, 2016, Colin Kaepernick sat down during the playing of the U.S. national anthem.

Ireal James, Staff Writer

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San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been making changes to his appearance with bigger hair and more to say — not only with his look but the current issues in society he believes are unjust.

Whether it being from social media or television coverage, his refusal to stand at a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers has sparked controversy and has people roaring about his plead.

With the now-infamous words, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he has made a name for himself as a supporter of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

While “Black Lives Matter” supporters are comforted by this allegiance toward change, others who argue that “All Lives Matter” in the conversation of police brutality feel differently.

We should all know by now that everyone is entitled to their own opinion — whether it be made from ignorance or pure refusal to accept the conditions of the past and how they affect us today — we are allowed to pick a side. It is also said that in America we are granted freedom of expression. So why is it so vital that we look at Kaepernick like he’s reinventing the wheel? It’s because we are conditioned to believe that those who are popular to the world hold more power than those who do not have a platform to express themselves, and therefore if popular people want to make something happen they can do just that.

Being that Kaepernick is a professional NFL player, those that disagree with him would argue that it is not “right” for him to utilize his right to freedom of expression, but in actuality what they are saying is that it is not “right” for him to enact change in the way the NFL runs and has run for decades.

Since football is one of the largest platforms in American entertainment, people are used to seeing it look a certain way — the players are told what to do from the coach, they win games (or don’t), and the public is satisfied because everything goes as planned.

However, with Kaepernick, there has been a change brought on to the football community, a change that makes people who would argue that “all lives matter” in a discussion on police brutality, uncomfortable.

While people are shocked, there is legitimate dialogue that has been prompted from the athlete and the public.

Kaepernick is also putting his words into action with his recent decision to donate $1 million to organizations that are looking to assist communities in need. Instead of spending the energy on the Niners quarterback’s exercise of the First Amendment, let’s encourage him to continue making strides as a philanthropist and professional NFL player.

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Opinion: Colin Kaepernick makes a stand