Teresa and Rick Kaepernick, who adopted Colin when he was an infant, said they stand behind the 29-year-old as he continues his National Anthem protest in defense of Black lives.
“Colin is carrying a heavy load and following a difficult path that he truly believes in. He is putting his entire future and possibly his life on the line for those beliefs. As his parents, it pains us to read articles and tweets saying that his family does not support him; this could not be further from the truth. We want people to know that we are very proud of our son and admire his strength and courage in kneeling for the rights of others,” they announced.
Rumors swirled that Kaepernick’s parents did not support the protest, after USA Today reported an American flag was stationed outside of their Modesto, California home. When previously asked their thoughts, his mother reportedly said: “It’s not in our best interest or Colin’s best interest” to comment.
Colin’s birth mother, Heidi Russo, voiced opposition to her son’s actions, tweeting, “There’s ways to make change w/o disrespecting and bringing shame to the very country and family who afforded you so many blessings.” She later added, “The path less traveled doesn’t need to be one of destruction. #beenthere #besmarter #berespectful.”
While Kaepernick’s protest continues to raise controversy among certain politicians, pundits and members of Donald Trump‘s America, his willingness to kneel in defiance of inequality will no doubt rank as one of the most poignant demonstrations in sports history.