Colin Kaepernick Responds to Death Threats Amid National Anthem Protest: 'You've Proved My Point'

Colin Kaepernick spoke out this week about his decision to keep kneeling when the national anthem is played at NFL games

Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Colin Kaepernick says he has had death threats in response to his decision to draw attention to racial oppression and inequality by kneeling during the national anthem played at NFL games.

The San Francisco 49s quarterback said he has received the threats through a “couple different avenues,” he told reporters on Tuesday, along with threats on social media.

But Kaepernick isn’t fazed. Instead, he says it’s only highlighting why he began protesting during the NFL’s preseason on Aug 26.

“To me, if something like that were to happen, you’ve proved my point and it will be loud and clear for everyone why it happened and that would move this movement forward at a greater speed than what it is even now,” he said.

“Granted, I don’t want that to happen, but that’s the realization of what could happen, and I knew there were other things that came along with this when I first stood up and spoke about it. That’s not something I haven’t thought about.”

The conversation came up when he spoke about the police shooting and killing of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Friday.

“I think it will be very, very telling what happens with the officer that killed him, what happens with [her] because everybody’s eyes will be on [her]”, Kaepernick said. “For me, I think one of the things that I’ve noticed throughout this is there’s a lot of racism in this country disguised as patriotism. People want to take everything back to the flag, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about racial discrimination, inequalities and injustices that are happening across the nation.”

Since Kaepernick began his protest, other players (including players from other sports) have chosen to stand behind him and follow his lead – taking a knee, raising a fist or sitting during the anthem as a sign of solidarity and protest.

On Sunday, four more 49ers players – linebacker Eli Harold, cornerback Rashard Robinson and safeties Antoine Bethea and Jaquiski Tartt – joined in and raised their right fists before their game against the Carolina Panthers.

Over at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, three players for the Miami Dolphins – receiver Kenny Stills, safety Michael Thomas and running back Arian Foster – sat in protest for the second week in a row.

Since then, U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe has joined in the protest, as well as an entire high school football team in Seattle.

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