We’ve got so much time for…

COLIN KAEPER­NICK

Grazia (UK) - - Contents -

‘[ I’M] NOT GO­ING to stand up to show pride in a flag for a coun­try that op­presses black peo­ple and peo­ple of colour.’ This is the sim­ple and de­fin­i­tive rea­son why for­mer San Fran­cisco 49ers quar­ter­back Colin Kaeper­nick first ‘took a knee’ dur­ing the na­tional an­them back in 2016.

Like the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment be­fore it, Kaeper­nick’s ges­ture ex­pressed his out­rage at po­lice and so­ci­etal fail­ings. As­sum­ing the quar­ter­back’s sig­na­ture crouch dur­ing the pre-game pa­tri­otic dis­play, the player, whose con­tract was end­ing, could af­ford to risk his ca­reer, un­like some of his team­mates who felt un­able to join him for fear of los­ing their jobs.

A year on, last week his sym­bolic pose went main­stream with more than 200 play­ers – as well as John Leg­end, Stevie Won­der and X Files’ Gil­lian An­der­son and David Du­chovny – also kneel­ing in sol­i­dar­ity. So while it’s gained trac­tion, not least be­cause it sent Trump into a foul-mouthed tail­spin, with the Pres­i­dent claim­ing that it is un­pa­tri­otic and kneel­ers should be fired, we’d like to give its in­sti­ga­tor due def­er­ence. Kaeper­nick’s NFL con­tract wasn’t re­newed in 2017, but he has per­sisted with his mes­sage, launch­ing a cam­paign to raise youth aware­ness on in­ter­ac­tions with law en­force­ment. So as the world con­tin­ues to fall to its knee along­side him, we take a knee along with them.

Colin, we sa­lute – or rather, kneel with – you

Above: Kaeper­nick and two team­mates kneel in protest

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