*San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was widely roasted for his decision not to vote in Tuesday’s presidential election, defended his action Sunday following his team’s 23-20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
“You know, I think it would be hypocritical of me to vote,” he told reporters. “I said from the beginning I was against oppression, I was against the system of oppression. I’m not going to show support for that system. And to me, the oppressor isn’t going to allow you to vote your way out of your oppression.”
Kaepernick began openly protesting oppression during the NFL preseason when he refused to stand during the US national anthem, saying he didn’t want to “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” His sitting — which later turned to kneeling — sparked a national movement.
One of the most recent examples of athletic social activism came Sunday. Ahead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ home game against the Chicago Bears, Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans refused to stand for the national anthem in response to Donald Trump winning the presidential election. He said after the game that his reason for not standing was different than Kaepernick’s.
“It’s not about the Republican party or Democratic party or anything like that,” Evans said. “It’s just who he is. It’s well-documented what he’s done. I’m not going to stand for something I don’t believe in.”
As a follow-up question on Sunday, Kaepernick was asked that if there was more of a sense of urgency with his cause now that Trump has been elected.
“I think everybody should feel urgency, to make sure we’re doing the right thing, building things the right way, in order to be able to protect ourselves from the things that may come from this,” Kaepernick said.