Colin Kaepernick sitting during the national anthem last week continues to garner mixed reaction in what has become a national debate.
And the San Francisco 49ers quarterback's NFL peers aren't shy about either supporting his stance against race and violence in America, disagreeing with him or understanding his protest, but not the platform he chose.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, who played for the same 49ers franchise, and New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz respect Kaepernick's stance, but don't agree with his disrespect of the American flag.
Cruz told USA Today that violence and race in America are bigger than Colin and that the flag must be respected no matter what.
“I think, personally, the flag is the flag. Regardless of how you feel about the things that are going on in America today and the things that are going on across the world with gun violence and things like that. You’ve got to respect the flag and stand up with your teammates," Cruz said. "It’s bigger than just you, in my opinion. I think you go up there. You’re with your team, and you pledge your allegiance to the flag and the national anthem as a team, and then you go about your business, whatever your beliefs are."
Cruz added: "Colin is his own man. He decided to sit down and sit out and that’s his prerogative. But from a personal standpoint, I think you have to stand out there with your team and understand that this is a game and understand that what’s going on in the country."
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees disagrees with Kaep sitting during the national anthem, wholeheartedly. Meanwhile, Seattle Seahawks Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman understands Kaepernick's stance, but questions the platform he chose to make it.
Former NFL player Damien Woody and Miami Dolphins running back Arian Foster think whether you agree or disagree with Kaepernick's stance, it's his right to protest the way he wants to.
As the debate continues to heat up, Kaepernick has defended his actions.
"This country stands for freedom, liberty, justice for all — and it's not happening for all right now," Kaepernick told the media Sunday, as reported by NBC.
He continued, attempting to explain his stance.
"This is because I'm seeing things happen to people that don't have a voice, people that don't have a platform to talk and have their voices heard and effect change," the 49ers QB said. "So I'm in a position where I can do that, and I'm going to do that for people that can't."
What do you think about him sitting during the national anthem?
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(Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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