How Twitter reacted to Colin Kaepernick’s protest in 2016

Time has proved Colin Kaepernick’s protest prophetic, with him being held as an example to follow by many online. But, typically, it wasn’t always that way.

 

 

For those on the fence, or unsure of the extent of the issue, time has added gravitas to Colin Kaepernick, who famously kneeled during the anthem to protest police brutality. In August 2016, he explained that he was “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour,” before adding, “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 (has always been) and is now one of the good guys, with the internet grouping behind him, elevating his protest as an example to follow. But it has not always been like this, because of course, it hasn’t.

At the time, Kaepernick’s move has jimmied the lock off the Pandora’s box marked “cray”, loosing the brutish forces of Internet insanity high above the lanes of the information superhighway. The issues of animal cruelty, his upbringing, careerism and also his athletic ability were questioned, but seldom the issue that Kaepernick raised.

So, with the benefit of hindsight, let’s look back at Twitter’s reaction on the day he chose to exercise his democratic right.

 

 

The above meme seems to be a popular avenue of detraction over on the rusted tripwire of Twitter. Does Kaepernick’s upbringing thereby bind him to the suburban take on the pale facts facing present-day black America? His perceived platform of privilege, moreover his wealth, seems to be another sticking point, with commentary along the lines of, “You’re too rich to complain” or, tritely:

 

 

Beyond the realms of “upbringing”, or the digits in his bank account, is the besmirchment of the act itself. The act of remaining shackled to his seat, undermined those who stood for the flag who were physically unable to.

 

 

Those who stand for the anthem, therefore do not respect those who do not. Which in a binary exchange is fair enough, but the reasons “why” are being whitewashed in favour of a red white blue. Needless to say, there are waves of support for Kaepernick:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Typically, this reactive malaise could be best summed up in the tweet below. Kaepernick burned in effigy is a fine metaphor for the discussion about him (and his protest) from that point forward.

 

 

 

 

 

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