Quaterback Colin Kaepernick recently courted controversy by refusing to stand for the national anthem in protest of the treatment of black people in the USA, stating that “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” While some criticised his move, sales of his jersey have skyrocketed to become the best-selling NFL jersey for the first time ever, suggesting his actions are supported by many Americans. PPE applicants should consider how consumer choices can influence politics, and how some people intentionally make consumption a political act.

Kaepernick’s move came before a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last week. The most high-profile defender of his act of defiance came from President Obama – and while not a whole-hearted support, he did say that he didn’t “doubt his sincerity. I think he cares about some real, legitimate issues that have to be talked about.”

Following Kaepernick’s move, American soccer player Megan Rapinoe knelt during the national anthem before a game. She states that “it was very intentiona; . . . Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties. It was something small that I could do.” HSPS applicants should consider how civil rights movements for LGBT+ people and people of colour have interacted throughout American history.

More Resources