Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin went on an angry rant against San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has refused to stand during the national anthem at two preseason football games citing police brutality and discrimination against black people as the reason.
Palin ranted to her Facebook followers on Aug. 29:
America -- let's sack this ungrateful punk. Kaepernick -- yeah, you're really "down with the oppressed" in this nation. Enjoying your $114 million contract, your previous adoring fans, sucking up a life of luxury... GOD AND COUNTRY GAVE YOU THIS OPPORTUNITY. You can't acknowledge that? Then on behalf of every Vet I'm privileged to know: GET THE HELL OUT.
In July, Palin told the "Breitbart News Sunday" radio program that Black Lives Matters demonstrators were "not protesters," but rather "thugs" and "rioters" who were "shouting 'death to cops' and celebrating violence," noted Right Wing Watch.
Palin's statements in the racially-charged interview continued:
You have to consider this atrocity that is going on right now, which is the quashing of, or thwarting of, America’s law and order as exemplified ... by that thin blue line, by our law enforcement and men and women in uniform who are protecting law and order in America.
The not-peaceful protesters, who are up in arms against the whole kit and caboodle of all law enforcement right now, as we see in Black Lives Matter, is turning our country into such a volatile and scary place. It is part of that fundamental transformation of America that Barack Obama had promised to do to America.
Kaepernick defended his decision to remain seated for the national anthem to NFL Media on Aug. 27:
I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.
In response, the 49ers issued a statement in support of Kaepernick's "right" not to participate:
The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. 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.