Colin Kaepernick continues to be recognized for his brave stance on social injustice.
Amnesty International awarded Kaepernick on Saturday. Past honorees of the Ambassador of Conscience Award have included Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai.
“Racialized oppression and dehumanization is woven into the very fabric of our nation — the effects of which can be seen in the lawful lynching of black and brown people by the police, and the mass incarceration of black and brown lives in the prison industrial complex,” stated Kaepernick, to the New York Times. “How can you stand for the national anthem of a nation that preaches and propagates ‘freedom and justice for all’ that is so unjust to so many of the people living there?”
His former San Francisco 49ers teammate Eric Reid, who also is now seeing the practical consequences of exercising a right afforded to him by the NFL to not stand during the national anthem, presented the award to Kaepernick.
“Eric introducing me for this prestigious award brings me great joy,” said Kaepernick. “But I am also pained by the fact that his taking a knee, and demonstrating courage to protect the rights of black and brown people in America has also led to his ostracization from the NFL when he is widely recognized as one of the best competitors in the game and in the prime of his career.
“In truth, this is an award that I share with all of the countless people throughout the world combating the human rights violations of police officers, and their uses of oppressive and excessive force,” said Kaepernick.
Whether or not anyone agrees with Kaepernick’s stance or how he’s chosen to express it, it is neither against the law not NFL rules for one to not stand during the playing of the national anthem. The NFL has doubled — and even tripled — down on that individual right, even in the face of the president’s demands to “Fire those sons of bitches!”
So, while there is still a large faction of folks who will continue to play dead/blind to the reason Kaepernick decided to kneel, while conveniently averting their attention to the kneeling itself, Kaepernick continues to cast himself on the right side of history.