Colin Kaepernick has recently made a statement claiming he refuses to stand up for and support our country because he believes African-American oppression has not been addressed.

Kaepernick claims he cannot be proud of a country where people are left on the streets dead, and police officers receive paid leave after shootings.

A little back story on this 49er’s player is that he is biracial and was adopted by white parents. He played football at the University of Nevada and was then drafted into the NFL.

While I think it is Kaepernick’s right to be an arrogant and unappreciative brat and stay seated during the National Anthem, I can’t even take his claims seriously.

How can someone who has benefited so greatly from this country claim that it has done nothing for him? How can someone claim that the people who have died for his freedom do not deserve a few moments of recognition during the National Anthem?

This is a perfect example of an entitled and out-of-touch with reality athlete or star dabbling into politics, because it’s the “cool” thing to do.

Can we deny that some racial bias still exists in this country? Yes, there is.

Can we blame the majority of African-American deaths on police officers? No, we can’t.

Normally I wouldn’t be phased by much coming from the mouth of a professional athlete, but this has really caused me to roll my eyes and say, “really?”

My favorite part about this is how ESPN, which has grown to be a political pot of pundits itself, has posted a blog on its website titled, “You Can Knock Colin Kaepernick—Don’t Call Him Un-American.”

No, ESPN. I will call him un-American for pushing and propagating rhetoric that statistics don’t back. I will call him un-American for not raising awareness of the real issues like black on black crime, or staggering unemployment for African-American teens. But I guess those issues don’t win anyone any political points.

Videos have been shared online of 49er’s fans burning Kaepernick’s jersey.

Plenty of people have voiced their opinions, some have backed him, and some have totally laid into him.

The NFL has stated that they cannot force someone to stand, and they are right. It’s just a shame that this young man has fanned the flames and has probably further instilled a defeatist attitude into the hearts of his young fans.

Amanda Long is a freelance writer for The Gazette-Virginian.