For Immediate Release
Petition Thanks Colin Kaepernick
In the first eight hours after it was launched on Monday afternoon, 7,500 people signed a new petition to Colin Kaepernick reading:
"We support your right to protest in support of racial justice. Thank you."
Many also added their own comments. The petition, with signatures and comments, can be found at RootsAction.org.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepernick did not stand for a playing of the national anthem on Friday. He explained: "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." Kaepernick has received an avalanche of criticism and racist abuse.
RootsAction.org's Jamani Montague pointed out that "Kaepernick isn't the first professional athlete to break tradition during the national anthem, and he won't be the last. His decision to remain seated was not a signal of disrespect for the United States -- but one of discontent for the lack of accountability found throughout U.S. police departments. Even more revolutionary was his willingness to discuss the purpose behind his actions when questioned. It is important that our leaders and role models stand up, or in this case, sit down, for justice and equality in this country."
RootsAction campaign coordinator David Swanson added that "Kaepernick probably would have been criticized just as severely had he sat through the national anthem for no expressed reason, as was Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas who stood but failed to put her hand over her heart. Kaepernick's taking a much needed stand against racism and police killings is also a much needed stand against mandated patriotism. As always, the patriotic enforcers claim unconvincingly that what they want to compel the celebration of is freedom."
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Action for a Progressive Future (the organization that runs RootsAction) is a nonprofit, progressive, public policy advocacy group that will engage citizens in the democratic process and help make sure legislators hear their voices.