BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s a song symbolizing the bravery and freedom of those who fought for the United States of America.
It’s also the song at the center of discussion, to kneel or stand and place your hand over your heart while it plays ahead of sporting events.
San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick started his protest against police brutality against black Americans by kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
It’s sparked some controversy at the start of the 2016 NFL season. But other athletes have joined the protest. Fans have supported him by buying his jersey, which has rocketed to the top of the league’s most popular jersey lists. Orioles outfielder this week publicly supported Kaepernick in an interview with USA Today.
Another local figure, Baltimore City Council member Brandon Scott, is also supporting the now-controversial 49er.
The youngest council member is facing scrutiny not for a policy or how he voted, but for wearing a Kaepernick jersey over his shirt and tie.
“We all have to be uncomfortable if we’re truly going to become the better, and more perfect union that we all want to be. That’s why I did it,” says Scott.
He says he’s received a number of emails, some saying they stand with him, others saying they no longer support him.
“I did it for a reason,” he says. “The fact that I received an email from someone who said they had no clue, or no care about the issues that Mr. Kaepernick or others were raising, until I got involved and now that are willing and open to understanding issues and learning more about it, that’s what it’s about.”
It’s a song symbolizing the bravery and freedom fought and sacrificed for the United States of America. But it’s also a song that Scott says hasn’t always lived up to it’s words.
“My grandfather served in WWII. He came home to rural North Carolina and my aunts and uncles were not afforded the opportunity to go to the same school with the children of the men that he served with.”
For those who say, Councilman Scott is unpatriotic, he says he loves his country.
“I love what our country stands for, but we do not yet live in a country that truly lives up live up to what we stay we are as a country,” Scott says.
Councilman Scott says his goal is to prompt conversations and to have more people work together, making Baltimore the best it can be.