Colin Kaepernick's Mom Speaks Out About Protest

| by Sarah Zimmerman
Colin KaepernickColin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick's biological mother is speaking out against her son, saying he was wrong to not stand during the national anthem.

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback recently faced intense backlash when he refused to stand for the national anthem before a preseason NFL game and said that he is not proud of America given the recent cases of police brutality against African-Americans. According to USA Today, he has no intention of standing during the national anthem until the country changes.

"Ultimately it's to bring awareness and make people realize what's really going on in this country," Kaepernick said, according to NBC News. "There are a lot of things that are going on that are unjust, people aren't being held accountable for, that's something that needs to change ... this country stands for liberty, freedom, justice for all. And it's not happening for all right now."

He went on to say that he cannot "stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color." 

His one-man protest went viral, with many calling him unpatriotic -- including his biological mother. Heidi Russo, who raised Kaepernick for the first six weeks of his life before giving him up for adoption, took to Twitter to express disdain of her son's actions.

"There's ways to make change w/o disrespecting & bringing shame to the very country & family who afforded you so many blessings," she said in a now-deleted tweeted, according to the Daily Mail.

Russo received some heat for that comment, with many internet users blasting her for not supporting her son. She responded to her critics, tweeting: "Hmmm, so if I disagree w/ someone, i.e. My 12 yr old, 6, 3, husband or Colin, that equates to not loving them? Ha! Seriously? #THATSCRAZY"

A spokesman from 49ers released a statement also condemning Kaepernick's protest, saying "The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony," according to the Daily Mail.

It went on to say the team will not stop Kaepernick from sitting out, as it is his right as an American to express himself as he sees fit.

"In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem."

Sources: Daily Mail, USA Today, NBC / Photo credit: Mike Morbeck/Flickr

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