Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick is in the eye of the media but not necessarily for his rushing TDs. To no surprise since Kaepernick’s career has gone on a downhill spiral the past couple of seasons. Regardless of his performance on the field, his social actions are without a doubt controversial. He refusal to stand up during the national anthem is a peaceful and successful protest. Disrespectful maybe, but successful.

By not saluting the flag during the national anthem, Kaepernick is simply peacefully protesting against an issue that continues to grow especially in 2016. The country is sadly witnessing race crimes not just done by cops but by regular civilians. Victims are being shot and killed for no apparent reason and the perpetrators are not receiving the correct punishment. It’s unfortunate to see how frequent these types of crimes are occurring these last couple of years. As part of the media, we tend to speak out and be outraged when an incident happens, but the fire of the protest dies down after a couple of days and even hours. A person with 200 followers on Twitter won’t get anything done by tweeting about it twice maybe three times.

Often times, individuals have a problem with the way that protesters express themselves. They claim that violence doesn’t solve anything and it only causes more conflict. Correct, so why is Kaepernick’s refusal to salute the flag so disrespectful? Is he physically or mentally harming or abusing anyone? No. Is he burning a flag? No. Is he coming out and blatantly disrespecting the country and it’s people? No. He is simply implying that he cannot “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

Isn’t that what this country is all about? It’s what separates us from other countries all over the world. As United States citizens we have the right to protest against something we do not find correct. Some of the veterans that Kaepernick is supposedly “offending” have actually started a hashtag on twitter #VeteransForKaepernick.

Veterans who go out and risk their life so that the country can keep their morals and their freedom and people like Kaepernick can protest without having to fear his life or the law. Veterans who help protect this country but come back home to be mistreated or sometimes even killed by those who they protect.

All Kaepernick wants to do is raise awareness on  the issue and protest peacefully. So far, he’s been successful. His protest now has national attention and is often debated on national television. However, it seems as if the media is discussing the wrong part of the protest. Instead of discussing if whether or not he is wrong by disowning the flag, they should be discussing the reason for his protest. How he has every right to be upset at a country which he calls “home” but fails to respect his race. The fact that his race is often looked down upon and mistreated but are also not allowed to protest because it wouldn’t be “patriotic”. THAT should be the bigger picture. Instead, we have athletes and coaches coming out and talking about the way he protests but ignore the reason. For example, you got Big Ben Roethlisberger coming out and saying he disagrees with how Kaepernick is protesting. The same Big Ben that’s been accused of raping two women has a problem with the way Kaepernick is going about his peaceful protest.

It’s funny to think that some of the same people who were admiring the great Muhammad Ali for standing up for his believes and disobeying the country are now burning Kaepernick’s jerseys and claiming he’s wrong for protesting. Colin Kaepernick is not breaking any laws nor is he causing anyone harm. He is simply exercising his right as a citizen of the United States to demand equal treatment for all races. You don’t have to agree with his manner of protest, everyone is different. Nonetheless, the act of protest should not overshadow the reason for his protest. The more we focus on how he protests instead of why, the less the country will do to end this tension between races.

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life”-Muhammad Ali