While Colin Kaepernick has remained unemployed and under fire for spearheading the NFL anthem protest, other NFL players have quietly or openly supported him. Some of the many players who have supported the protests are professed Christians who believed that the gospel gives them clear instruction on how to proceed.
Baltimore Ravens strong safety Benjamin Watson is one of them, although he has not been one of the players who has kneeled.
“We talk about what Jesus would do. Let’s think about that,” Watson, who has been standing for the national anthem, said in an ABC News report. “How should I biblically look at this situation? Is my response as an American going against what my response should be as a Christian? If I’m a Christian, I want to delight in the things that [Christ] delights in and those things are blind. They’re not based on color, creed or culture or money.
“Being kind is not predicated on what you can do for me. Justice is not predicated on if I experienced injustice or not. We can advocate for people who have experiences that we don’t even have. True justice is blind and righteous. Christians should be about expanding and promoting the Gospel. If you listen or think about the subject matter that players and people are concerned about, you could not as someone who reads Scripture turn a blind eye to it.”
Kaepernick, who is a professed Christian, became a lightning rod for racial animus when he began sitting and then kneeling to protest social injustice and police brutality during the performance of the national anthem while he was a member of the San Francisco 49ers last season.
Kaepernick was named by GQ Magazine as Citizen Of The Year, again drawing ire from those who believe his protest is disrespectful to the flag and veterans, without seemingly realizing that veterans fought for the very freedoms that allow for peaceful protest.
Eric Reid, a strong safety for the San Francisco 49’ers and a former teammate of Kaepernick’s is one of the players who supported him right away. He says he was inspired to do so by his Christian faith.
From the Christian Post:
“It’s the foundation of why we started doing this,” Reid told The Associated Press. “We all have a love for people. The Bible tells us love your brother as yourself so that’s why we’re doing it.
“We have to speak up for those who can’t do it for themselves. My faith is ultimately what led me to start protesting and it’s what continues to drive me. Faith without works is dead. I feel like the past year before we started protesting, the Lord has prepped me for this moment.”
He explained that he and Kaepernick began kneeling in their protest as a “respectful gesture” after a meeting with former Green Beret and Seahawks long snapper Nate Boyer.
He said he doesn’t understand why some people continue to believe that the players are protesting the anthem, the American flag, the military or the police.