Protests by high school teams around the nation during the national anthem have been in solidarity with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Friday night, Kaepernick was in solidarity with them.
Kaepernick kneeled behind players and coaches from Castlemont in Oakland as they took part in a “die-in” protest, laying on their backs with their hands up during the national anthem.
Kaepernick visited the school a week after the team kneeled and raised their firsts during the national anthem before last week’s game.
Videos and tweets appeared early Saturday on social media. Kaepernick addressed the team and thanked them for their support before the game in video posted by assistant coach Ben Arnold. Excerpts of the speech were posted by the San Jose Mercury News.
“I know situations like a lot of y’all might be in where people don’t treat you the same, they don’t give you that time of day, they don’t give you those opportunities to be the best you can be.
“That’s why I made the decision to do what I did. You all inspired me with what you did, following that and standing up. You all are doing this at a much younger age than what I did. This took me a while to get to this point. And you all are conscious of this at this point in time to make that stand.”
“What’s most important is you look out for one another. This is your family. These are your brothers. I look at all of you as brothers. I see your strength. I see your power, your courage, your confidence. And that’s something you have to be able to speak into each other as well.
“When you talk to him, talk to him with confidence, speak confidence into him. ‘You’re going to play great today. You’re going to be the best player out there. Not just the best player on the field, you’re going to be the best player when you walk off that field and into the real world.”
“You are important. You make a difference. This matters. Everything you do matters. Look out for one another. Lift each other up. That’s what this is about.
“I had to come support y’all because of the same way y’all took a stand, and still with me, I have to come out here and stand with y’all. So I appreciate what y’all did. I love you all. Y’all my brothers. I’m here with you.”
Kaepernick wore a hoodie on the sideline with the team name on the front and posted for pictures. In the locker room, he wore at Muhammad Ali shirt.