As Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the singing of the national anthem continues to raise tensions both on the field and on the internet, John Legend’s take is possibly the most unifying opinion out there.
The GRAMMY winner posed a question on Monday to those criticizing the San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s boycott of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
“For those defending the current anthem, do you really truly love that song?” Legend, 37, tweeted. “I don’t and I’m very good at singing it. Like, one of the best.”
For those defending the current anthem, do you really truly love that song? I don’t and I’m very good at singing it. Like, one of the best— John Legend (@johnlegend)August 30, 2016
Exhibit A: his rendition of the song during the NBA Finals earlier this year, which you can check out here.
“My vote is for ‘America the Beautiful,’” he continued. “'Star-Spangled Banner’ is a weak song anyway.”
My vote is for America the Beautiful. Star spangled banner is a weak song anyway. And then you read this… https://t.co/iAE62FAbxj— John Legend (@johnlegend)August 30, 2016
Kaepernick’s controversy began when he addressed NFL Media after what was at least his second time remaining seated during the national anthem before a game on Friday.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” the 28-year-old athlete explained. “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.”
His statements incensed fellow athletes and fans alike. NASCAR driver Tony Stewart called Kaepernick an “idiot” who “needs to learn the fact about police before running his dumba** mouth,” while former NFL player and current NFL analyst Rodney Harrison criticized Kaepernick for his actions because, as Harrison put it, “he’s not black.”
Kaepernick is in fact biracial, having come from a biologically white mother and a black father, despite being adopted by white parents. Harrison later apologized for his statements.
The 49ers weighed in with their own statement, saying, “The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”