Green Beret and also NFL player Nate Boyer confirmed he encouraged the quarterback come "take a knee," quite than sit, during the nationwide anthem.

You are watching: Did a veteran told kaepernick to kneel

Published28 September 2017

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U.S. Army veteran Nate Boyer encouraged Colin Kaepernick to kneel, fairly than sit, while protesting police brutality during the nationwide anthem.
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In September 2017, as countless criticized the “take a knee” protests by national Football league players together anti-military, readers wrote in come ask if a veteran had actually played a duty in Colin Kaepernick’s decision come kneel throughout the national anthem in protest the police killings of african Americans. 

Army Special forces veteran Nate Boyer has actually said that his conversations v Kaepernick influenced the previous NFL player to kneel, fairly than sit, throughout the anthem. 

Kaepernick began his protest by sit on the bench throughout the anthem before a preseason video game on 14 respectable 2016 when he was play for the mountain Francisco 49ers. He was not in uniform in ~ the time. The protest started garnering coverage as soon as journalist Jennifer Lee Chan captured him sit (this time in uniform) in a picture prior to the team’s third preseason game on 26 august 2016.

Two job later, Kaepernick speak to reporters about the protest. The encounter included this exchange:

Reporter: for this reason many human being see the flag together a prize of the military. How do you watch it and what do you say to those people?

Kaepernick: i have great respect because that the men and also women that have dealt with for this country. I have actually family, I have actually friends that have gone and also fought because that this country. And also they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, lock fight because that liberty and justice, because that everyone. That’s not happening. People are dying in vain due to the fact that this nation isn’t hold their end of the cheap up, as much as providing freedom and also justice, liberty to everybody. That’s something that’s no happening. I’ve viewed videos, i’ve seen circumstances where men and also women that have been in the military have come ago and been treated unjustly through the country they have combated for, and have been murdered by the country they combated for, on ours land. That’s no right.


When asked whether his protest might be interpreted as “a blanket indictment of regulation enforcement in general,” Kaepernick said:

There is police brutality. World of shade have been targeted through police. So that’s a large part the it and also they’re government officials. Castle are placed in place by the government. So it is something the this country has come change. There’s points we have the right to do to organize them much more accountable. Make those standards higher. Girlfriend have civilization that practice law and are lawyers and go to institution for eight years, however you can come to be a cop in 6 months and don’t need to have the very same amount of training as a cosmetologist. That’s insane. Someone that’s holding a curling iron has much more education and more training than world that have actually a gun and are going out on the street to defend us.

On 30 august 2016, the military Times published an open up letter to Kaepernick from previous Seattle Seahawks player Nate Boyer, who served as a eco-friendly Beret in U.S. Military actions in both Afghanistan and also Iraq. In the piece, Boyer reflect on how he felt standing on the field as the anthem played during his just appearance because that the Seahawks:

I thought around how far I’d come and the guys I’d combated alongside that didn’t do it back. I thought about those abroad who to be risking their resides at that really moment. Ns selfishly thought around what I had actually sacrificed to get to wherein I was, and also while ns knew ns had tiny to no possibility of make the Seahawks’ roster as a 34-year-old rookie, i was trying.

That minute meant so much more to me than also playing in the video game did, and to it is in honest, if I had actually noticed mine teammate sitting on the bench, that would have actually really hurt me.

I’m no judging you because that standing up for what you believe in. It’s her inalienable right. What you are doing takes a most courage, and also I’d it is in lying if I claimed I knew what it was like to walk around in her shoes. I have never had actually to address prejudice since of the shade of mine skin, and also for me to say I have the right to relate come what did you do it gone with is together ignorant as someone who’s never been in a combat zone informing me they understand what it’s prefer to walk to war.

Boyer and Kaepernick met after the open letter to be published, and before mountain Francisco’s last preseason game on 2 September 2016 in san Diego — the first time the quarterback knelt in front of the bench rather of sitting throughout the anthem. Boyer posted a photograph of himself through Kaepernick complying with the meeting, and later said:

We sorta came to a middle ground whereby he would certainly take a knee together his teammate. Soldiers take it a knee in former of a please brother’s grave, you know, to present respect. Once we’re top top a patrol, friend know, and also we enter a defense halt, we take a knee, and also we traction security.

Kaepernick’s then-teammate Eric Reid joined him in kneeling for the protest before that game. He recalled the suffer in an op-ed released by The new York Times ~ above 25 September 2017:

After hours of careful consideration, and even a visit native Nate Boyer, a retired green Beret and also former NFL player, we concerned the conclusion the we need to kneel, rather than sit, the following day during the anthem together a serene protest. We made decision to kneel since it’s a respectful gesture. Ns remember thinking our posture was prefer a flag flown in ~ half-mast to mark a tragedy.

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Boyer additionally expanded ~ above his discussion with both Reid and also Kaepernick during a CNN town hall transfer on 27 September 2017:

reached out and we to be able come sit down with each other for a couple of hours prior to the last preseason game last year. The was yes, really cool to hear him simply listen, too, and be an extremely open-minded, too, and “Look, ns don’t want to ache you, ns don’t desire to hurt your brothers and sisters.” I showed him message messages of friend of mine and some the them to be saying i was a disgrace to the eco-friendly Berets ’cause ns was even meeting through him. And some of them were like, “I’m with you man yet it really hurts me to watch that.”

So once I speak to them, it was mutual. Me, him, and also Eric Reid “I think perhaps taking a knee would certainly be a little an ext respectful. It’s still a demonstration. You still speak something but, civilization take a knee to pray. So because that me it to be a usual ground, at least, to start from.

Although Kaepernick is not currently signed come a team, various NFL players and team owners embraced the kneeling protest front to games on 24 September 2017 after chairman Donald Trump told supporters during a rally the owners need to fire any kind of player who engaged in the demonstration, saying, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired. He’s fired.”