At the Chargers vs. 49ers pre-season game Thursday, Colin Kaepernick chose not to stand during the national anthem for the second time.
And once again, the image of Kaepernick not standing went viral:
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) September 2, 2016
However, this time, Kaepernick didn’t sit out on the bench away from his team; he took a knee. And part of the reason why has to do with the man on Kaepernick’s left, Green Beret veteran Nate Boyer, who played the 2015 pre-season with the Seattle Seahawks.
A few days before Boyer found himself on the sidelines next to Kaepernick as his guest, he wrote an open letter to the quarterback.
In the open letter, Boyer made it clear that he “isn’t judging” Kaepernick for his choice, that he would have been “hurt” to see his teammates not stand, and that he looks forward to the day the young quarterback is “inspired once again” to stand during the anthem.
Kaepernick saw the letter and chose to reach out.
In fact, he invited Boyer to come to San Diego before the game.
Thanks for the invite brother… Good talk. Let’s just keep moving forward. This is what America should be all about http://pic.twitter.com/LgjPpjk173
— Nate Boyer (@NateBoyer37) September 2, 2016
Boyer told Independent Journal Review about their meeting and the way he was welcomed by Kaepernick.
“He sent a car to drive me down. And before our meeting started, the very first thing he did was thank me for my service. In our hour and a half meeting, we talked about everything. I told him how his choice to not stand has affected the veteran community. But I also took the time to listen to him.
I suggested that maybe there’s a way to find some middle ground so what he did doesn’t seem so offensive to veterans. To help paint a clearer picture, I showed him some of the texts some people sent me about how they were really upset about it.”
The two came to an agreement for Kaepernick to not sit down during the anthem:
“We came to compromise about him taking a knee. Kaepernick also asked me to take a knee. But I put my hand over my heart and sing the words, that’s what I do, so I declined.
Yet, I said I would stand beside him to show America that he was and is willing to listen.”
He explained what it was like to stand next to Kaepernick on the field during the anthem:
— HawksBum (@HawksBum) September 3, 2016
“I was hoping he would stand up. But you know what I thought, this is a perfect snapshot of America.
Right now, we are very divided. But the fact that we were willing to be side-by-side in the moment and have that conversation, that’s the first step to actually getting somewhere.”
Boyer added, “Do I agree with the gesture, no. What I do support, however, is his willingness to compromise about something he’s clearly passionate about by agreeing to take a knee. That gesture, among all the negative publicity and backlash he’s received, shows that he’s open to finding solutions, instead of trying to stoke more fires and national outrage.”
Source: independent journal
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