San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been praised by several NFL players since he began silently protesting during the national anthem before games, and the head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People praised the 28-year-old for his actions Thursday.
According to USA Today's Josh Peter, NAACP President Cornell William Brooks compared Kaepernick to civil rights activist Rosa Parks when discussing the quarterback's decision not to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner."
"It’s a lofty name, but it’s not a stretch," Brooks said. "We’ll let history be the judge, how consequential Kaepernick’s action is."
Prior to the 49ers' third preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, Kaepernick remained seated for the national anthem as a protest against social injustice.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media's Steve Wyche. "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."
Since Kaepernick's protest first drew attention, teammate Eric Reid, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane and Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall have all remained seated or taken a knee for the national anthem.
Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner told reporters his entire team may unite for a protest before Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins, according to ESPN.com's Sheil Kapadia.
"There’s been no movement in this country that has succeeded upon the heroism of any one individual, but rather the loyal, committed, concerted and sustained action of a group of people," Brooks said Thursday, per Peter. "So you have to partner."