San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick protested the Nov. 8 presidential election by not participating in it.
“It didn’t really matter who went in there, the system still remains intact that oppresses people of color,” he told reporters the day after the election, reports the Daily Mail.
Kaepernick has protested racial discrimination all season by refusing to stand during the national anthem. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he explained after the first time he refused to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Following his lead, various players for the New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins have protested by either sitting or kneeling during the playing of the national anthem at their games.
In addition to NFL players, other athletes have joined as well, including Megan Rapinoe, who plays for the Seattle Reign franchise of the National Women’s Soccer League, and Mara Green, of the Florida State Seminoles volleyball team.
Eplaining his reason for not voting, Kaepernick said there was no difference between Republican candidate Donald Trump or Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. “I’ve been very disconnected from the systematic oppression as a whole, so, for me, it’s another face that’s going to be the face of that system of oppression.”
Following Donald Trump’s stunning upset victory in the election, Stephen A. Smith, co-host of the ESPN program “First Take,” was very critical of Kaepernick’s decision not to vote.
“For him not to vote… as far as I’m concerned, everything he said meant absolutely nothing!” said the African-American sports analyst on the show’s Nov. 9 broadcast, reports USA Today.
Smith, famous for his opinionated rants, went on to say:
“As far as I’m concerned, Colin Kaepernick is absolutely irrelevant. I don’t want to see him again, I don’t want hear from him again, I don’t want to hear a [darn] word about anything he has to say about our nation … He comes across as a flaming hypocrite. … After all this noise that you made, even though you didn’t intended to do so, by offending our military service men and women, and pointing out about how you wanted to bring attention to racial injustices and beyond in this country, to turn around and not even take your behind to the polls to vote for a particular candidate, it is shameful! Absolutely shameful.
Sources: Daily Mail, USA Today, NFL.com / Photo Credit: Mike Morbeck/Wikimedia Commons