A former NFL player who is running for congress, isn’t a fan of original anthem protester Colin Kaepernick.
“Colin Kaepernick is a national disgrace and I’m tired of seeing him celebrated like he’s a hero,” wrote Jeremy Staat in a fundraising letter. The former NFL defender is a candidate in California’s 8th Congressional District.
In the letter, Staat wrote: “Help me send a strong message to left-wing radicals in Washington that America is fed-up with their game-plan, just like they are fed up with Colin Kaepernick.”
On his website, it states: “Unlike Colin Kaepernick, this NFL Pro ALWAYS stood for the Red, White and Blue with toes on the line!”
Kaepernick started an anthem kneeling movement in the NFL to protest police brutality.
“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 in August, 2016. “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 2019, there are just two players still kneeling – Carolina’s Eric Reid and Houston’s Kenny Stills.
Staat was a second-round pick of Pittsburgh in the 1998 draft, and spent three seasons with the Steelers. He then had a brief stint with the St. Louis Rams and in the Arena League, but quit football in 2004, and joined the Marines, after his Arizona State football teammate Pat Tillman was killed in action.
In March of 2007, Staat was deployed to Haditha, Iraq as an infantry machine gunner.
“Unlike Kaepernick, I gave up a career in the NFL and joined the Marines after 9/11 when my nation needed me,” Staat stated. “I followed the example of my friend, Pat Tillman, whom I played football with at ASU and I’ve never looked back.”
And now he has decided to run for congress while drawing strong contrast between Kaepernick and himself.
“Unlike Colin Kaepernick, this NFL Pro ALWAYS stood for the Red, White and Blue with toes on the line, and if elected to Congress, I will fight to ensure the NFL always enforces that rule,” it stated in his campaign fundraising e-mail. “I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Greatest of Americans – the men and women of U.S. Armed Forces, and I walked away from professional football to have the honor of serving this great nation.”
Also on the ballot for this congressional seat are Democrat’s Chris Bubser, James Ellars along with Republican’s Nathan Charette, Tim Donnelly, Destiny Lovato, Jay Obernolte and nonpartisan Peter Mathisen.
This Eastern California district includes Mono and Inyo counties and parts of San Bernardino County. Incumbent Paul Cook, a Republican, announced in September he wouldn’t be running for re-election. Cook has represented this district since 2012.
The 6-6 Staat, who played at the NFL at 300 pounds, but slimmed down a great deal when he joined the Marines, is currently a welding professor at Bakersfield College.
He feels there’s a need for more veterans in congress.
“Right now, in the sitting house, 22 percent are veterans, it’s one of the lowest percentages that we have ever had in this country,” Staat told the Bakersfield College newspaper. “And we wonder why our VA [Veterans Affairs] system doesn’t work.”