Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Defends Colin Kaepernick ‘ We Should Admire Him For His Patriotism’

Over the weekend Colin Kaepernick caused a firestorm after he decided to protest the national anthem because he feels the flag “oppresses black people and people of color,”

Several prominent athletes including Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees have called out Kaepernick over his stance.

On Tuesday, former Lakers great Kareem Abdul Jabbar emphatically defended the 49ers quarterback in an op-ed piece for the Washington Post by stating that we should admire his patriotism for exercising his right to protest.

Via Washington Post

“One of the ironies of the way some people express their patriotism is to brag about our freedoms, especially freedom of speech, but then brand as unpatriotic those who exercise this freedom to express dissatisfaction with the government’s record in upholding the Constitution,”

“One sign of the maturation of American society is the willingness of those in the public eye, especially athletes, to openly take a political stand, even if it could harm their careers.”

“What should horrify Americans is not Kaepernick’s choice to remain seated during the national anthem, but that nearly 50 years after (Muhammad) Ali was banned from boxing for his stance and Tommie Smith and John Carlos’s raised fists caused public ostracization and numerous death threats, we still need to call attention to the same racial inequities. Failure to fix this problem is what’s really un-American here.”

Jim Brown and Abdul-Jabbar, both retired and with not much to lose, have been the only two prominent figures in the sports world to voice their support for Kaepernick. It will be interesting to see if any current players who agree with Kaepernick’s stance will ever come forward but with all the backlash the 49ers QB is getting it’s doubtful that will ever happen.