EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — On Friday night, quarterback Colin Kaepernick didn’t stand for the national anthem before the San Francisco 49ers-Green Bay Packers preseason game at Levi’s Stadium as a protest.
The following day, New York Giants guard Justin Pugh made it clear he would not follow suit.
“I will be STANDING during the National Anthem tonight. Thank you to ALL (Gender,Race,Religion) that put your lives on the line for that flag,” Pugh tweeted a few hours before the Saturday’s Jets-Giants preseason game in New Jersey.
Pugh loves America. Kaepernick doesn’t seem to share that love right now.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL.com. “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.”
A white couple in Wisconsin adopted Kaepernick and eventually took him to California. He will make $11.9 million guaranteed this season in the country that “oppresses black people.”
Breitbart Sports caught up with Pugh after the Jets-Giants game to get him to expound on his tweet.
“My brother is in the military,” said Pugh, a Syracuse graduate. “I definitely feel like people over there are putting their lives on the line. That is where I see the value in going out there and standing for the [anthem]. Obviously not everyone feels the same way as me and that is what this country is all about.”
Pugh wanted to make it clear he wasn’t personally attacking Kaepernick.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion and he has his opinion,” Pugh said. “Obviously, I’m not bashing him whatsoever. He can go out there and do whatever he wants to do. I just wanted to send something out for the veterans who are sometimes overlooked and give them a shout out.
“It’s something that is important to me. It’s my own opinion, and I appreciate he’s got to have his opinion, too. It’s something that is important to me, to stand for the [anthem], and it’s something I believe. I just expressed my opinion. Obviously, I wanted to clarify to make sure there’s no gray area.”