Former Seattle Seahawks player Nate Boyer met with Colin Kaepernick last year, after Kaepernick decided to protest during the National Anthem before football games as an effort to stand up for oppression. When the National Anthem was performed, Kaepernick refused to stand. In fact, he started off by just sitting on the bench until it was over.
However, Kaepernick started taking a knee during the anthem — and Boyer is the reason why.
According to Snopes, Boyer, who is also an army veteran, wrote an open letter to Kaepernick that was published by the Army Times in August 2016. In that letter, Boyer addressed Kaepernick’s decision to protest.
You can read part of Boyer’s letter below.
“I’m not judging you for standing up for what you believe in. It’s your inalienable right. What you are doing takes a lot of courage, and I’d be lying if I said I knew what it was like to walk around in your shoes. I’ve never had to deal with prejudice because of the color of my skin, and for me to say I can relate to what you’ve gone through is as ignorant as someone who’s never been in a combat zone telling me they understand what it’s like to go to war. Even though my initial reaction to your protest was one of anger, I’m trying to listen to what you’re saying and why you’re doing it…I look forward to the day you’re inspired to once again stand during our national anthem. I’ll be standing right there next to you.”
After reading Boyer’s open letter, Kaepernick decided to meet up with him. During their meeting, the following photo was taken. Boyer decided to share it on social media with his own message of hope.
“We sorta came to a middle ground where he would take a knee alongside his teammates. Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother’s grave, you know, to show respect. When we’re on a patrol, you know, and we go into a security halt, we take a knee, and we pull security,” Boyer told Bryant Gumbel during an interview for Real Sports, according to CBS News.
Check out the video below for more.