Jozy Altidore understands exactly what Colin Kaepernick is going through currently.
You can’t help but know about the controversy surrounding the San Francisco 49ers quarterback if you pay attention to current events or own a TV or get on the internet. Kaepernick created national headlines by refusing to stand and sing the national anthem in protest of the way the country’s law enforcement treats black citizens.
Altidore is no stranger to national anthem-related angst. In the past, the USMNT striker has drawn the ire of soccer fans for his unorthodox way of handling the Star-Spangled Banner. Supporters started noticing that he never covered his heart while his teammates all did during the national anthem. Questions and critics arose and still do to this day.
In 2015, Altidore finally revealed that the reason he doesn’t cover his heart is due to religious reasons.
While that’s completely different than outright protesting for personal and political beliefs, Jozy is still able to relate and understands what Kaepernick is trying to accomplish.
“I think with Kaepernick it’s kind of interesting to see how people instead of looking at there’s a reason why he did it, they look at other things around it that don’t play a part,” Altidore told Sports Illustrated. “I think he’s trying to send a specific message, and people are trying to make it seem as if he doesn’t respect the country and he’s disrespecting veterans and stuff like that.”
“I don’t think that’s where he’s going with it,” Altidore continued. “I think he’s talking about something [police treatment of black Americans] that is a hot topic right now in our country and something that has been going on for quite some time, and something that needs to be figured out. So in a way I understand where he’s coming from.”
Of course it’s always a tricky thing to mix sports with politics and religion. Whenever it happens it’s going to be a combustible situation. This incident just happened in the NFL where the spotlight is huge and the political climate in America was ready to jump all over it.
This “controversy” has already been discussed and dragged out way too much by every known media outlet there is. You either understand why Kaepernick did what he did and can relate to his statement or you don’t. I’m not here to change your mind either way. Jozy’s comments are just a different perspective on the situation and maybe they can help you see it from a slightly adjusted angle.