Colin Kaepernick//photo courtesy by USA Today Sports/Reuter

By: Kemrick Petree, Contributing Writer

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has brought both a large amount of support and controversy by refusing to stand for the national anthem in regards to protesting what Kaepernick believes is the unfair treatment African Americans and other minorities in the United States.

In an interview with Steve Wyche, a reporter for NFL media, Kaepernick said “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,said Kaepernick.

Many others had made their comments of the situation, even Kaepernicks coach at the time. Chip Kelly said “it’s not my right to tell him not to do something” and that it is “his right as a citizen.”

Kaepernicks decision also gained the attention of many other NFL players and athletes across America.

From being drafted in 2011 in the second round to becoming the 49ers superstar and leading them to the Super Bowl in 2012, Kaepernick has gone from being one of the most promising players in football to being a huge civil rights protester.

Kaepernick has completely put his career and family on the line for what he feels should be the fair treatment of minorities. Kaepernick, being a biracial child, was adopted by white parents and said he had mixed feelings about what to do but felt that he had to take a stand.

In an interview with Christine Hauser of The New York Times he said,this is not something that I am going to run by anybody, I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for my people that are oppressed.

Kaepernick, who is a free agent at the moment, is entering his 7th season in the NFL and many teams have passed on signing the quarterback.