“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,”

–(Colin Kaepernick on why he kneeled

during the national anthem)

Born in 1987, Colin Kaepernick was an American football quarterback. He rose to prominence in 2016 when he started kneeling during the national anthem, played before the match, to mark his protest against the racial injustices in USA. Within a few months, a number of fellow athletes, footballers started following him and refused to stand up to honor the national anthem. Kaepernick also wore socks with the imprints of pigs wearing police caps to make a statement against the rogue cops of America. These protests, however, also earned him a huge social backlash and accusations of disrespecting America, ultimately costing him his place in the team. His contract was not renewed despite his excellent records.

Under the guise of patriotism and in an effort to present the positive image of a country, the state often tries to push its injustices under the carpet. In our part of the world, for example, songs like “ham sab ka Pakistan” are played on the Pakistan day in a time period when clearly this country belongs more to the rich, Muslims, men and Punjabis than it does to the poor, minorities, women and non-Punjabis. In the light of such hypocrisies, the figures like Kaepernick are our real heroes who are brave enough to reveal our ugly realities to us. Such protests should not be taken as an attack on the state which needs to be curbed; but wholeheartedly accepted as a critique of its shortcomings which need to be welcomed and addressed.