ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s silent protest against racial inequality continued as he kneeled during the national anthem along with outside linebacker Eli Harold and free safety Eric Reid during Sunday’s match-up with the Buffalo Bills.
This method of protest is illogical according to Protesting the Right to Protest.
As the three of them kneeled, a police officer stood behind them saluting the flag as the “Star Spangle Banner” played.
Cop stood behind Kaepernick during the anthem and saluted pic.twitter.com/eIp3bwFk79
— Mike Tunison (@xmasape) October 16, 2016
However, he was being called an attention-seeking cop who photobombed the trio of protesters. He was also called out for failing to properly stand at attention (feet together) while in uniform and saluting the flag.
— Cupid Valentino (@shEgoTripn) October 16, 2016
Some falsely insinuated his faux pas was exacerbated by not removing his hat. But that is incorrect as people in uniform do not remove their headdress (hat, helmet, beret, etc…) during the playing of the national anthem in this setting.
If you really want to get official, this is what the United States Code, Title 36, Section 10, Sub-section 171 says:
During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should render the military salute at the first note of the anthem and retain this position until the last note. When the flag is not displayed, those present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed there.
— Dan O'Sullivan (@Bro_Pair) October 16, 2016
Kaepernick did not receive endorsement from the crowd in Orchard Park. During his first start of the season, they chanted “USA! USA!” And when Kaepernick jogged onto New Era Field they greeted him with a chorus of boos. And not simply because he played for the Bills’ opponent, but most people consider the protest disrespectful to the country that afforded him employment playing a game enriching him to the tune of $126 million—a tad more than the police officer saluting the flag makes.
In the end, Kaepernick and his teammates were crushed 45-16 in a game that was about something besides football.