Chris Brown may not agree with how Colin Kaepernick protested against racism, but he applauds the San Francisco 49ers quarterback for getting his message heard.
Before a preseason match against the Green Bay Packers on Friday, Kaepernick made headlines by refusing to stand during the singing of the national anthem. The move drew mixed reactions online. For his part, Brown commended Kaepernick’s cause-driven audacity.
In an Instagram post, which has garnered 123,000 likes and 1,523 comments, the singer-songwriter said, “Proud of my brother for actually trying to be the change by setting the example!!!”
During a post-game interview, Kaepernick stated that he sat out the national anthem to protest the alarming police brutality in the US.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” said Kaepernick, via NFL.com. “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.”
On Saturday, 49ers head coach Chip Kelly defended Kaepernick by saying that it was his right as a citizen to remain seated during the singing of the national anthem. The 2013 Maxwell Club Coach of the Year added that he had no right to force Kaepernick to stand.
Soon after, the 49ers released a statement which read, “In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
Despite its permissive stand, the team did preface its statement by highlighting the symbolism and importance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the NFL claimed that players are “encouraged but not required” to stand during the singing of the national anthem.
The Mercury News reported that this wasn’t the first time Kaepernick sat out the beloved pre-game ritual. He did the same thing before the 49ers took on the Denver Broncos last Saturday. The 49ers won that game 31-24.