Based on online sales, San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick has the most popular NFL jersey as the football season kicks off.
The demand for the jersey looks to outweigh the number of fans who have burned it, disagreeing with Kaepernick’s actions.
The quarterback made headlines for sitting — and later taking a knee — during a preseason game. Later, Kaepernick told reporters that his move was meant “to bring awareness and make people realize what’s really going on in this country.”
“There are a lot of things that are going on that are unjust, people aren’t being held accountable for, and that’s something that needs to change,” he said. “That’s something this country stands for freedom, liberty, justice for all. And it’s not happening for all right now.”
As The Intercept, among others, have pointed out, the third stanza of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” penned by Francis Scott Key, is extremely unsympathetic to slaves.
Kaepernick’s protest has “once again made us realize the power of athletes,” William Rhoden, former sports columnist for The New York Times, told the NewsHour last week.
Now, Rhoden said, there are more young African-American men who are “becoming much more fluent in our history and are really becoming unafraid to use this podium to express views that are controversial and not controversial, and using this sort of national anthem as sort of the lightning rod for a lot of these controversies.”