San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is taking a lot of heat for his refusal to stand for the national anthem at his games. But he's staying strong, thanks to the support of fellow athletes, concerned celebrities, and even the president of the United States.
Kaepernick started his protest on August 27 during a preseason game against the Greenbay Packers. He cited concerns about police violence against people of color in the United States.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media. "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."
After members of the military said they felt Kaepernick's display disrespected their service, he agreed to kneel instead of sitting out the anthem. But criticism continues to dog his protests.
"Easy way to make sure you're NOT the starting QB on opening day,” former quarterback and ESPN analyst Matt Hasselbeck tweeted August 27.
Despite Hasselbeck’s dire prediction, Kaepernick has continued to play, and sales of his merchandise have exploded — perhaps because celebrities like J. Cole and Trey Songz have started sporting his jerseys at performances.
Read on for quotes from Cole and Songz, and Kapernick’s other celebrity supporters.
This post has been updated to reflect Brandon Marshall's decision to join the protest.