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3 Years of Taking a Knee in Protest: Colin Kaepernick Reflects

  • Kayla Koslosky

    Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket …

  • 2019 Aug 16

To mark the three-year anniversary of his protest against police violence in America, former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick shared a video on Instagram re-igniting conversation about racial division in America.

On Thursday, Kaepernick shared a graphic video to his Instagram account showing the free agent taking a knee during the national anthem at football games, interviews of people who have lost loved ones in police shootings, black lives matter rallies and protests and graphic videos of African Americans being shot and held down by police. 

Kaepernick captioned the video, “Today marks the three year (sic) anniversary of the first time I protested systemic oppression.”

He added, “I continue to work and stand with the people in our fight for liberation, despite those who are trying to erase the movement! The movement has always lived with the people!”

The post – which at the time of this writing has been viewed nearly 1 million times – was met with both support and criticism. 

Some Instagram users commented on the post in solidarity with the athlete. One person wrote, “Keep fighting bro. We with you.” 

Another wrote, “I see you King. Thank you for your bravery, thank you for your voice.” 

Others, however, voiced their disappointment in the former NFL player. One Instagram user wrote, “You've disrespected this nation and it’s (sic) military by kneeling for the flag. Truly disappointed.”

Relevant Magazine reports that Kaepernick began protesting police brutality in 2016 by taking a knee on the football field while the national anthem was playing. The protest was widely covered by the media and was met with immediate backlash. 

For the last two years, Kaepernick has remained unsigned from an NFL team.

You can watch the video posted to Kaepernick’s Instagram here, but warning, it does contain graphic footage of police-involved shootings.

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Otto Greule, Jr./Stringer