The American Football star is receiving both support and disdain for his controversial protest

John Legend publicly stands by American Football player, Colin Kaepernick, in his decision to protest the “Star Spangled Banner” before games.

Last week, Kaepernick shocked football fans and veterans alike when it had come to public attention that he had chosen to sit out on singing the national anthem. The athlete spoke about his refusal to sing the national anthem before games until there was a “significant change” in the manner that people of color are treated in the US.

John Legend is showing support for his fellow African-American brother in his decision to protest the "Star Spangled Banner" before games. Photo credit: Reuters / Danny Moloshok / IB Times
John Legend is showing support for his fellow African-American brother in his decision to protest the “Star Spangled Banner” before games. Photo credit: Reuters / Danny Moloshok / IB Times

The footballer’s protest is seen as a response to all of the police brutality cases that have happened across the nation without true justice being served. Whether it was in Baton Rouge or Chicago, the athlete is not the only person who is tired of the lack of responsiveness to the institutional racism that continues to plague the United States today.

John Legend in solidarity

Soulfully seductive R&B singer, John Legend, took to Twitter to show support for his fellow African-American brother, asked followers how they sincerely felt about the song then shared his distaste for the iconic and symbolic melody.

“For those defending the current anthem, do you really truly love that song? I don’t and I’m very good at singing it. Like, one of the best,” he tweeted, according to CBS affiliate, KIMA TV.

The singer added that the “Star Spangled Banner” is a weak song and posted a link to a tweet posted by an online publication, The Intercept, that read that the US national anthem “celebrates the murder of African-Americans”.

Colin Kaepernick’s protest and veterans responses

Kaepernick has received different responses from war veterans about his stance. Many were in support of the footballer’s constitutional right to peacefully protest or to exercise his freedom of expression. Kaepernick’s protest made such an impactful statement that a new hashtag started trending on Twitter this week: #VeteransForKaepernick. According to a Navy veteran who served in the Iraq war, Tom Baker, the footballer’s decision to sit out of the national anthem was an example of him exercising his right to protest which the veteran feels is something those who serve their country take an oath to defend.

Marine Corps infantry veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Ronnie Brown, spoke out against the backlash some veterans have been throwing the footballer’s way. He stated that many veterans are demanding an apology from a man who was simply exercising his freedom. He went on to question the freedom that seems to be granted or valid only if in accordance with the beliefs of the masses.

Not all former soldiers had positive words for the athlete, however. A Marine corps infantry veteran deployed twice in Afghanistan, Nick Stefanovic, stated that the protest is offensive and that it pains him to see anyone disrespect the national flag or anthem as they are associated with the sacrifices made by those who fight to protect their country.

Many people are entitled to their views of Kaepernick’s protest, as that forms part of their freedom of speech the country upholds. However, people may feel, the reasons for the footballer’s protest cannot be denied or ignored.

Source: Business Insider