Colin Kaepernick's 'take a knee' movement has taken the nation by a whole, as many athletes, celebrities, and citizens join the social justice protest. In 2016, the 49ers player chose to kneel when the national anthem was played, as a way to protest police brutality and racism.
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The team publicly issued a statement saying that while the national anthem will always be a special part of the pre-game ceremony, they are respecting Kaepernick's "freedom of expression." Though the press release acknowledged Kaepernick's actions, the NLF was not prepared for the aftermath following the political power yet conversational following the movement would take.
In September, President Donald J. Trump tweeted out, "Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday," and added, "The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!" Later, the Commander-In-Cheif stated that the athletes who refuse to stand for the flag were “sons of b******,” while adding that they should be fired on the spot.
Tension rose across the country as many disagreed with his statement, while others were criticizing those who kneeled before the flag as a sign to protest.
On Sunday, Vice President, Mike Pence attended an Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers game, where a dozen of players took a knee. The former Governor of Indiana was instructed to leave by POTUS as a way show respect for the American flag. Pence later tweeted, "I left today's Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem."
With all the buzz around the game and the #TakeAKnee movement, gossip developed that the football player was willing to give up his values around the protest in order to have another shot in the NFL. Kaepernick's girlfriend, Nessa Diab quickly took to social to correct the false accusations with the photo below. Followers responded to her post with gratitude and applauding the HOT 97 Radio personality on clarifying the facts.
Shortly after, the 29-year-old professional athlete exercised his first amendment right yet again by quoting Winston S. Churchill below:
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
Winston S. Churchill
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) October 8, 2017
CBS Sports reporter, Jason La Canfora created questions around the movement while on "The NLF Today" show. While on the highly viewed sports network, the journalist said "He’s not planning on kneeling. He’s going to donate all his jersey sales, and he’s planning on standing for the anthem if given the opportunity." Later, the Associated Pressed released a statement acknowledging the miscommunication around La Candora's comment and confirmed the NLF player never spoke about betraying his movement for an opportunity.