NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Military veterans are taking to Twitter to back Colin Kaepernick’s stance on not standing for the national anthem.
Vets are showing their support for Kaepernick on social media through the hashtag “VeteransForKaepernick.” This comes as many are ripping the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, saying he’s disrespecting the military by sitting during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Some people even posted videos burning Kaepernick’s jersey.
#VeteransForKaepernick began trending on Twitter on Tuesday and continued through Wednesday.
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback ignited a firestorm of controversy taking a stand by sitting through the anthem. Kaepernick says he’s protesting what he describes as oppression of minorities in the United States.
“I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed,” Kaepernick said Sunday. “To me this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”
Kaepernick also told reporters Sunday that he has family members and friends who have served in the military and that he has “great respect for men and women that have fought for this country.”
“They fight for freedom,” he said. “They fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice for everyone, and that’s not happening.
“People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody. It’s something that’s not happening.
“I’ve seen videos. I’ve seen circumstances where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they fought for and have been murdered by the country they fought for, on our land. That’s not right.”
Kaepernick says he will continue his protest ahead of Thursday’s preseason game in San Diego.
That game will have special meaning as it is the Chargers’ 28th annual Salute to the Military.
According to the team’s website, the organization will pay “tribute to hundreds of thousands of current and retired military personnel who live and work in San Diego.”
“The Star-Spangled Banner” will be performed by Naval Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Powell.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)