Longtime NFL star Jerry Rice has reached out to current player Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand during the National Anthem at a recent game.
“All lives matter,” Rice said in a public Twitter post. “So much going on in this world today. Can we all just get along! Colin, I respect your stance but don’t disrespect the Flag.”
A Hall of Fame wide receiver and three-time Super Bowl champion, Rice spent 15 years, the majority of his time in the NFL, with the San Francisco 49ers. Following his playing career he has been an author and analyst and appeared on shows including “Dancing With the Stars,” “Law and Order: SVU” and CW’s “The Game.”
Rice, born in Crawford, Miss., now lives in the San Francisco Bay area.
Broadcaster Roland Martin was among the many to weigh in following Rice’s tweet:
Kaepernick said his refusal to stand during the Star Spangled Banner was an act of protest:
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. 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.”
As controversy over Kaepernick’s decision spread, the NFL said in a statement: “Players are encouraged, but not required, to stand during the playing of the National Anthem.”