10 Rappers Weigh In on Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem Protest
In the last year, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has helped bring the Black Lives Matter movement to a national stage by making the decision to kneel during the national anthem at every game in the 2016 season. Kaepernick's silent protest has forced sports fans to take notice of the oppression people of color face in the U.S. and sparked debate about the duty of professional athletes to honor their team and veterans during The Star-Spangled Banner. It's a brave move on the part of the QB that's had plenty of rappers talking too.
Kap's peaceful protest has been more than a year in the making. During a pre-season game in August 2016, the QB sat down on the team bench during the The Star-Spangled Banner. Though at first people didn't notice Colin was protesting, by the third game of the pre-season, he was being questioned for his actions and revealed his silent protest was in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color," Kap explained to NFL.com during a post-game interview on Aug. 27. "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."
Kap later switched to kneeling instead of sitting, a move that has rippled throughout the sports world and prompted U.S. athletes on the high school, collegiate and professional level to join him in solidarity. After the 2016-2017 season ended, Kaepernick found himself gaining lots of backing from activists—even a TIME Magazine cover—but not much from major league football teams. After playing for the San Francisco 49ers for five years, the QB opted out of his contract with the team and became a free agent in March 2017. While Kap still has time to be picked up by a team for the 2017 season, many football fans believe the public protest is hurting his chances of getting signed and that the player is effectively being blackballed by the NFL.
As Kap's protest gains more media attention each month and persuades others in the league to kneel or sit down as well, rappers have added their two cents to the debate. From J. Cole to Snoop Dogg, some rappers have supported Kap's decision to kneel while others think the quarterback is being a hypocrite. As Kap's silent protest passes the one-year mark, take a look at which artists in hip-hop are on his side.
See Which Rappers Are Supporting Colin Kaepernick or Criticizing His National Anthem Protest