California NAACP Wants to Get Rid of National Anthem; Defends Colin KaepernickNovember 9, 2017
The California NAACP called for the dissolution of the United States national anthem Tuesday in addition to pledging support for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
California NAACP President Alice Huffman said, "This song is wrong; it shouldn't have been there, we didn't have it 'til 1931, so it won't kill us if it goes away," according to Shirin Rajaee of CBS Sacramento.
Huffman also said of Kaepernick and his decision to protest during the anthem last season: "The message got distorted, the real intentions got overlooked, it became something that's dividing us, and I'm looking for something to bring us back together."
Huffman called certain lyrics in "The Star-Spangled Banner" racist and "anti-black." She was specifically referring to lyrics from the third verse that aren't typically sung, including, "no refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave."
Kaepernick was the first high-profile athlete to demonstrate during the anthem last season, and many players in the NFL and other leagues have followed suit.
The 30-year-old veteran remains unsigned, and Huffman called for his free agency to come to an end: "He still has a lot of talent, and he has the right to play, why should he be persecuted over peaceful protest?"
Kaepernick has filed a grievance against NFL owners, alleging they have colluded to ensure that no team signs him.
The 2011 second-round pick out of Nevada is 28-30 in his career as a starter during the regular season, and he has a Super Bowl appearance to his credit.
Kaepernick went just 1-10 with the Niners last season, but he threw for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions while rushing for 468 yards and two more scores.