Seferian-Jenkins on Kaepernick: 'Invest in the black community'
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to protest the treatment of blacks in America by sitting during the national anthem has become a major story in the NFL this weekend, and Bucs tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins offered his take to Sports Illustrated writer Peter King.
The Bucs had no scheduled access to players on Saturday or Sunday, but King was able to speak with Seferian-Jenkins, whose suggestion was for Kaepernick and others who care about the issue to help by investing in solving the problem.
"If you live in America, you have the right to express yourself freely," Seferian-Jenkins told King. "This is not a Communist country. It's the land of the free and the home of the brave, and people sacrifice their lives so Americans can have the freedom of speech that he chose to use -- regardless of how people feel about it.
"But I think if he's serious about the problem, he should invest in the black community. He should invest in education. He should invest in Oakland. People have been standing up and saying things, but we need action."
King took two polls on Twitter on Sunday, with his readers divided on whether they support Kaepernick's right to sit during the anthem (51 percent said they did, 49 percent said no). Asked in another poll simply if Kaepernick was right, only 34 percent said yes.
Kaepernick's initial comment to the NFL Network explained that "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," and he expanded on that during an 18-minute session with reporters Sunday.
"You can become a cop in six months," he told reporters, "and you don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist. That’s insane. I mean, someone that’s holding a curling iron has more education and more training than people that have a gun and are going out on the street to protect us."