- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Monday Night Football, and all eyes were temporarily on a backup quarterback.

Leading up to the game, the focus of attention was on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during the national anthem to bring attention to the civil rights issues involving the police and minorities.

Kaepernick was joined by teammate Eric Reid. Fellow teammates Eli Harold and Antoine Bethea held up their fists in support. Kaepernick’s Monday Night competition, Robert Quinn and Kenny Britt of the St. Louis Rams, held up their fists in support as well.

Kaepernick has started a movement.

“For me, it was something that I couldn’t see another ‘hashtag Sandra Bland, hashtag Tamir Rice, hashtag Walter Scott, hashtag Eric Garner,’ the list goes on and on and on,” Kaepernick said. “At what point do we do something about it? At what point do we take a stand and as a people say this isn’t right? You have a badge, yes. You’re supposed to be protecting us, not murdering us, and that’s what the issue really is and we need to change that.”

Kaepernick has continually stressed that his protest is not anti-American, anti-military or even anti-police. He’s simply bringing an issue to attention. Since his protest began during last month’s preseason games, football players around the league and even athletes in other sports have expressed support.

President Obama even weighed in, saying Kaepernick has “generated more conversation around some topics that need to be talked about.”

Critics, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, have called for a boycott of players who refuse to stand during the national anthem. 

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Monday Kaepernick and his fellow protesters should leave the United States. “Try another country, see if they like it better. See how well they’ll be doing. See if they are going to be making $20 million being a second-string quarterback.”

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