Sometime far in the future, Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the playing of the national anthem will likely be heralded as another example of a black athlete using his or her national platform to draw attention to the continued mistreatment of black people in the United States. The former quarterback issued a statement through the NFL after the San Francisco 49ers first pre-season game, after he had failed to join the pre-game ceremony of standing for the playing of the national anthem. “I am not going to stand up and show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game.
Recently, Kaepernick made headlines again during an interview with ESPN, and raised his voice once more against the oppression and unequal treatment black people are subjected to throughout the United States. “I will not subside and I will not quiet down, despite the enormous personal cost I have had to endure,” he said during the interview. “However, I’ve decided that my people and justice are much more important than any personal gain or benefits I would have obtained had I not reacted that way I did. Ultimately, I would like to once again point out that black Americans need to stop condoning violence and oppression and they need to stop being quiet. Because, in this case, silence is equal to approval.”
“What we need to do, as a race and as a collective, is to go out into the streets and demand justice, demand equality in every shape and form, and demand that we be treated as human beings, and not second-class citizens,” he called. “And if white people are really that serious about demonstrating they consider us their equals, I have the perfect proposition. I hereby demand that the authorities carve at least one black president into Mt. Rushmore as proof of the value they attribute to black people throughout America. We have been a part of this country since its birth and I think we should be treated as such without exception.”
Kaepernick continued his crusade: “And I don’t care what they have to do to make it happen, whether they’re going to just extend the monument to the side or even tear down one of the existing white presidents; I just know I want it done, we want it done, within a matter of months. Mt. Rushmore’s historical significance as the monument of all monuments speaks more about America and its founders than any other national monument, including the Statue of Liberty. And I say this knowing that my black brothers and sisters throughout the country agree with me wholeheartedly.”
“And here’s proof, for those who think I’m delusional for reacting the way I am: why do you think the White House bears that exact name? Because it’s white in color? No, it was built by mostly black slaves, but it’s called the White House because it’s an ode to the white man, an ode to the oppressor, an ode to real plague of this country who would not see his pale skin tarnished with any kind of different color, not black, not brown, not yellow, any kind. They took a country built by black people, an economy created by black people and made it into a symbol of the white man. Well, I promise you a full-fledged revolution if a black president isn’t staring down at us from Mr. Rushmore six months from now,” the former quarterback concluded with a threat.