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Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the U.S. National Anthem has proved to be a very controversial point.

Colin Kaepernick is a professional football player for the San Francisco 49ers. He joined the team in 2011. He became a valuable player on the team despite some minor fines by the NFL for inappropriate language on the field. He has recently signed a two-year deal with the 49ers.

Before a preseason game in 2016, Kaepernick sat down instead of standing for the National Anthem. “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”, he said. The 49ers support his statement, and he says the recent shootings of Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott support his claim. Kaepernick has received much controversy from critics and supporters, and recently decided to kneel during the anthem to respect the military while still protesting.

My first thought at hearing this was: “What are you doing!?” I was surprised by this football player who refused to show respect for the country he lives in, a country that has fed him and cared for him. I know he is protesting for the rights of people, but he can stand and do it as well. I support the rights of Blacks and other races and I think the Civil Rights movement was taking the right path. I looked at the recordings of the shootings of black people, and neither side is completely blameless. I know there are many problems we have to fix in this nation, but I will continue to proudly stand for the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Kaepernick has the right to free speech and expression, however, and I respect that in this aspect. We should love people of different races, not hate them, and we should respect authority as well. God made us all a certain way, and we should rejoice for that!