The San Francisco 49ers quarterback refused to stand for the national anthem before a game in the 2016-2017 NFL preseason. He 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, and I will not stop until I see significant changes for minorities.” Several other NFL players have started to join in on Kaepernick’s protest. On august 28, 2016 the forty-niners coach Kyle Shanahan decided that Kaepernick was not focusing on football and drawing too much attention to himself, so Shanahan cut Kaepernick from the team. Kaepernick remains a undrafted free agent
President Donald Trump has made several comments to players and coaches. He says if take a knee during the anthem you are dishonoring the country, soldiers, and fallen soldiers. Trump says that any players that take a knee during the national anthem should be fired. Trump called the people that kneel during the national anthem a of son of a ****. President Donald Trump strongly disagrees with kneeling during during the national anthem.
Ben Carson is a brain surgeon, secretary of housing and urban development, and former presidential candidate. Carson noted that one of the reasons he believes the national anthem is played prior to sports contests is to “remind us that even though we’re rooting for different sports teams, we are united as a country.” Carson said everyone has the right to express themselves, but argued that there is a proper “time and place for everything.” Carson’s post has gone viral, receiving more than 126,000 likes, nearly 49,000 shares and over 7,000 comments since week 4 of football. Some said the anthem protests have caused them to stop following the NFL. Ben Carson believes that you should be able to protest but there is a time and place to do it, and this is not the one.
Alejandro Villanueva, offensive tackle, was the only player on the Pittsburgh Steelers to come out of the locker room when the national anthem was played. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said ahead of the game the team would not be participating in the anthem. Alejandro Villanueva who served as a army ranger in Afghanistan came out of the locker room anyway. One week later he had the highest amount of sold jerseys in the NFL.
Colin Kaepernick started sitting during the national anthem during the NFL 2017-2018 preseason. Former green beret, Nate Boyer sent kaepernick a letter saying they should discuss the national anthem. The two met and Boyer told kapernick that he should take a knee instead of sitting during the anthem. Boyer said that this would make it more of a protest. Kapernick has been doing it instead. Nate Boyer supports kneeling during the national anthem, but he still stands during it.