Journalist Kelly Candaele on protesting racial matters in sports

Two big story lines in the NFL Monday night - first the debut of the new LA Rams…and with a national TV audience watching, everyone wondered what would 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick do (or not do) during the National Anthem.

Once again, Kaepernick and teammate Eric Reid refused to stand in tribute as the anthem was being played.

He first did this during a pre-season game against green bay last month - stating afterward: "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."

Two Rams players, Kenny Britt and Robert Quinn stood, but held their right fists in the air throughout the anthem.
Over the past 3 weeks the protests have set off a national debate about the appropriateness of injecting politics into sports.

But in fact, there's a long tradition of athletes protesting racial matters. The late Muhammad Ali announced he would not fight in Vietnam - or any war for that matter not declared by Allah, famously saying "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet cong."

Ali also asked "Why should I drop bombs on brown people when so-called Negro people here are treated like dogs?"

One year later, at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, African-American medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos each raised a gloved fist in what was taken to be a "Black Power salute". Smith later insisted that his gesture was a ‘human rights’ salute.

Nevertheless, the incident is regarded as the most overly political in the history of the modern games.

Joining us to keep the debate going was journalist, film-maker and screen-writer, Kelly Candaele.

Kelly is the man behind ‘A League Of Their Own’. He is also the brother of a former major league baseball player and a longtime writer for both the LA Times and the New York Times.

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