And so it begins. We knew Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest might cause some (or many) of his peers to take up the same cause. Joining Kaepernick this Thursday will be Philadelphia Eagles rookie linebacker Myke Tavarres.
Tavarres told ESPN’s Tim McManus that he thought about doing it on Saturday, one day after the news broke about Kaepernick. He explained his thoughts at the time.
“Oh, I thought about it. Believe me, I definitely thought about it,” Tavarres said of sitting Saturday night. “And usually I’m front and center on the line with the rest of the guys, and that’s since pre-K all the way up. Saturday’s game, I stepped back, I was in the background, and it didn’t feel right to me at all, and so I will be taking a stand — or sitting down — for the fourth game.”
The undrafted rookie elaborated on why he is joining Kaepernick.
“We’ve got an issue in this country in this day and age, and I feel like somebody needs to step up and we all need to step up,” Tavarres said. “We’ve got that right. There’s just a lot going on that people don’t want to talk about, and I feel like us as athletes, we’re looked at as role models. And I feel like with Colin Kaepernick, he’s doing a great job for standing up in what he believes in, and most people may not like that, but that’s his opinion, he’s entitled to it, and I respect him for doing it.”
Kaepernick caused a national firestorm when his conversation with NFL.com’s Steve Wyche was published Saturday morning.
“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.com. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
He then spoke with media for almost 20 minutes on Sunday, further clarifying his position (rather eloquently, we might add) and doubling down on his commitment to continue sitting until he sees meaningful change (watch here).
Many of his peers don’t see eye to eye with Kaepernick on this.
On a controversial topic like this one, there will be strong opinions on both sides. It seems clear that Tavarres won’t be the last to join Kaepernick. We could see quite the movement going forward.