The inaugural Sunday games of the 2016-2017 NFL season happened to coincide with the 15 year anniversary of 9/11. Prior to the games beginning a prerecorded 9/11 remembrance from President Obama was played, with him honoring those slain during the World Trade Center attacks. But according to reports spectators across the country used the moment to boo POTUS.
The New York Times reported that booing of the president took place during the game between the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals, while another website reported on booing that occurred right before the Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins game.
Although it’s unknown what exactly led to the widespread booing, it could very well be the recent controversy surrounding Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The athlete refused to stand for the United States national anthem before a Friday night preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.
“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 explained to the NFL media following the game. “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.”
“I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed,” he continued. “If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”
Both football fans and fellow players have voiced their support for Kaepernick, with members of other teams also refusing to stand during the United States national anthem.
Last week Obama addressed the Kaepernick controversy by saying that the football player is “exercising his constitutional right to make a statement.”
“I think [Kaepernick] cares about some real, legitimate issues that need to be talked about and if nothing else what he’s doing has generated more conversation around some topics that need to be talked about,” Obama added.
This could very well be the reason why so many people booed him during his 9/11 tribute. The irony in that however, is that they’re doing the same thing they’re condemning Kaepernick for. But then again this shouldn’t come as a surprise from people who fail to understand that Kaepernick’s real protest is against the racial injustices that are ongoing in this country.