BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In an interview with USA Today, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones is defending San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the National Anthem.
“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 in an interview last month. “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.”
His decision has been widely talked about ever since.
Jones told USA Today that he understands why the protest, which has caught on elsewhere in the NFL and other sports, hasn’t yet crossed over into Major League Baseball.
“We already have two strikes against us already so you might as well not kick yourself out of the game. In football, you can’t kick them out. You need those players. In baseball, they don’t need us… Baseball is a white man’s sport.”
The report notes that Jones’s comments are not altogether inaccurate: African Americans comprise 68 percent of the player population in the NFL and just 8 percent in baseball, it says.
Jones also noted that Kaepernick’s protest is completely within his rights as an American, and is not disrespectful to the military, which some of the quarterback’s critics have argued.
“What he’s doing is showing that he doesn’t like the social injustice that the flag represents,” Jones said.
Also mentioned in the interview was Kaepernick’s former teammate, Bruce Miller, who was released last week after being arrested for an alleged assault against a 70-year-old man and his son.
“Here’s my thing,’’ Jones said. “There’s somebody on the 49ers’ team that commits an act like that, accosts a 70-year-old man and his kid, and nobody’s talking about that. But they talk about Kaepernick doing something that he believes in, as his right as an American citizen. People need to talk more about that guy than Kaepernick.”
Read the full report on USAToday.com.