5 Times The Media Lied About The Reasons Behind Kaepernick’s Anthem Protest


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In 2020, the media, particularly the sports media, have with impunity, gone all in on besmirching president Donald Trump, with the totally made up notion that he, not former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, made about the flag, Kaepernick’s anthem protest during the last year of his NFL career. They falsely accuse the president of changing the narrative on Kaepernick’s protests, which they assert were solely for promoting the “black” cause against police brutality.

But on August 27, 2016, Colin Kaepernick stated: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.

Here are five media outlets that have either lied or been inconsistent in their coverage of Kaepernick’s protest.

  1. Deadspin

Chris Baud in a recent rant against representative Matt Gaetz, wrote: “Let’s not forget that Kaepernick’s protest was never about the flag, and, as Deadspin’s Rob Parker argues, it’s probably time to stop playing the national anthem before games anyway.” Quite contrary to what Kaepernick himself has stated.

  1. CNN

CNN’s inclusion on this list should come as no surprise to anyone. In an article in late 2019, Eric Levenson wrote that Colin Kaepernick “first sat during the pre-game National Anthem as a protest of police brutality and racism.”

Of course, CNN is contradicting its own reporting. In 2016, Sophie Tatum wrote the following, in an article dubbed Trump: NFL owners should fire players who protest the national anthem” (Of course the focus is on Trump. It’s CNN people!). “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Network’s Steve Wyche after the game against Green Bay.” 

Need I say more?

  1. Fox Sports 1

Shannon Sharpe, cohost of the Skip and Shannon Undisputed show, has for years peddled the narrative, that Kaepernick’s protests were never about the flag. Unsurprisingly, in response to Trump’s “son of a bitch” comments about the kneelers, Sharpe claimed: “14 months after Colin Kaepernick originally kneeled, and when they ask[ed] him, he said it’s not about the flag. It’s not about the veterans. It’s not about the police. It’s about the brutality that unarmed men and women of color are suffering. It’s about the injustices. It’s about the inequities that’s going on in America.”

All this despite the fact that not only did Kaepernick say it was about the flag in his very first interview after he began his protests, he has since contradicted the narrative Shannon Sharpe and others have painstakingly painted for him.

  1. Yahoo Sports

Yet another liberal website, Yahoo Sports has also falsely claimed that Trump, not Kaepernick, made his protests about the flag. Surprisingly, the website carried Kaepernick’s original statement on the issue. This quote is from Eric Edholm’s piece in 2016 Colin Kaepernick explains why he won’t stand during national anthem: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Network’s Steve Wyche after the game against Green Bay.”

However, in 2020, Yahoo Sports sees things differently. Nick Bromberg in his article President Donald Trump says Drew Brees should not have apologized for anthem kneeling comments writes: “The president turned Colin Kaepernick’s protests of racial injustice during the national anthem into a repeated talking point in 2017.” Before going on to cite Trump’s 2017 speech in Alabama. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired!’” 

“It’s worth repeating for the hundredth time” Bromberg states, “that the NFL players’ kneeling protests during the national anthem are not against the flag or the military but against systemic racism in the United States.” Almost as if Yahoo Sports never covered Kaepernick’s originally stated reasons for sitting/kneeling during the National Anthem. Incredible!

  1. Time Magazine

Back in 2017, in its preamble to its transcript of President Trump’s now notorious “son of a bitch” speech in Alabama, Time wrote that “The NFL has been mired in controversy since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the kneeling to protest police brutality against black people.” Even though a year earlier, Kaepernick stated that the flag was part of what he saw as oppressive to “black” people and so refused to stand for it.

Not that Time was oblivious to this fact. On August 29, 2016, Mahita Gajanan wrote in an article, interestingly named Colin Kaepernick and a Brief History of Protest in Sports, that “San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the singing of the national anthem on Friday, sparking a heavy dose of criticism. Kaepernick said he would not “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” according to an NFL interview on Friday.”

So much for media consistency and integrity.

To see more of the lies told by the media about Colin Kaepernick’s anthem protest, check out our exclusive content, on our Patreon page.


Dean Nestor

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