Colin Kaepernick has created quite the movement in and around sports when it comes to the national anthem. 49ers teammate Eric Reid joined Kap on one knee during the team’s preseason finale. Soccer star Megan Rapinoe took the tribute to a different field/pitch.
Even one of Kap’s opponents, Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane, jumped in on the protest, sitting down for the national anthem as well.
Lane, speaking with reporters, said he fully expects to continue sitting for the anthem.
“Just standing behind him [Kaepernick], what he said,” Lane said via the Seattle Times. “Just piggybacking what he said, for the justice.”
And Lane also said that Kaepernick reached out to him to thank him for his actions.
“Just told me thank you for standing behind him,” Lane said.
And here’s a new twist to the story: Lane said he spoke with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll about his decision. And the only thing Carroll told Lane was “be smart.”
From a practical, keep-your-job standpoint, that is very good advice. It also means Carroll isn’t likely going to tell Lane to stop supporting Kap or force him to do something different during the national anthem.
Lane hasn’t heard from any teammates about his protest and doesn’t expect anyone to join him.
“I don’t know. I don’t want to put no pressure on no one. I’m doing it for me,” Lane said.
But at least one teammate — defensive lineman Michael Bennett — has Lane’s back.
“I mean I think it’s his right to be able to protest,” Bennett said. “And I think it’s all right. I think there are definitely some issues in America that a lot of people are starting to recognize. I think people have recognized them before but I think with social media and the things that are going on out there, the media outlets, everybody has a chance to really show what is going on and their ideas and having a chance to really protest what they think is wrong with America and that’s okay, that’s what it’s about. It’s about people having that right to have their voice and I think it’s cool that Jeremy Lane is doing what he wants to do.”
Per usual, Bennett nails it. There are multiple issues at play here. There are the issues Kaepernick wants people to talk about — very real issues — and then there is the issue with the actual protest itself. People are upset about Kap and others protesting the flag, but America is built on freedom.
The support being shown to Kap — through these protests, through Twitter movements and through jersey sales — is proof that many folks believe in the right to speak and act freely.
Source: CBS Sports / Seahawks’ Jeremy Lane plans to continue anthem stand by sitting