Athletes join Kaepernick in protest, hint at 'team' protest Sunday

Published: Sep. 9, 2016 at 1:51 AM CDT|Updated: May. 18, 2017 at 12:29 AM CDT
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SEATTLE, WA (WMC) - It was a silent action that has ignited a fire across the nation. As the NFL regular season kicks off, the preseason was not without controversy after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem. 

For him, it was a sign of protest. He told media that he would continue to sit or kneel for the national anthem until significant change was made in this country. Now, his message and actions have caught fire and others are joining him in his protest.

Kaepernick has been joined by teammate Eric Reid, safety for the 49ers, as well as Jeremy Lane of the Seattle Seahawks.

In addition, he has picked up some support across multiple sports after Megan Rapinoe, U.S. women's national team and Seattle Reign midfielder, joined him in the protest by kneeling on Sunday night, September 4, before her team took on the Chicago Red Stars. Rapinoe said kneeling during the national anthem was a small gesture to Kaepernick and to show her support for his cause. She said although she cannot relate to persecution based on race, she said she has experienced other incidents based on being gay. She said she plans to continue kneeling and hopes the protest will bring about more 'meaningful' conversations about the issues this nation faces.

Three teammates from West Virginia University Tech volleyball team also refused to stand for the national anthem on September 7. All three athletes were African-American and said they were kneeling to support Kaepernick and the need for everyone to be treated equally in the U.S.

However, Sunday may prove to be a larger message than just a handful of athletes silently showing a protest by refusing to stand.

Seattle Seahawk's Doug Baldwin told the Seattle Times he was also 'considering' refusing to stand. But, there's more. According to the Seattle Times, Bobby Wagner and the Seattle Seahawks could possibly be planning a larger sign of solidarity and unity in the protest. A larger 'silent' protest that will make a big noise on the 15th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Wagner said whatever will be done will be a team effort, not an individual one....leading to the idea there could be an entire team on the sideline sitting while the national anthem is playing.

"Whatever we decide to do will be a big surprise," Wagner told the Seattle Times. "Anything we want to do, it's not going to be individual. It's going to be a team thing. That's what the world needs to see. The world needs to see people coming together versus being individuals."

So, Sunday could come with a huge splash across the NFL....and the nation.

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