Green Beret shares how he convinced Colin Kaepernick to change anthem protest
Former Seattle Seahawks player and Green Beret Nate Boyer has shared how he convinced Colin Kaepernick to switch up his national anthem protest.
Boyer, in an interview for HBO’s “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel” that premieres Tuesday night, revealed details of a conversation he had with Kaepernick that prompted the San Francisco 49ers quarterback to stop sitting and instead kneel during the national anthem.
“We sorta came to a middle ground where he would take a knee alongside his teammates,” Boyer said, via CBS Sports. “Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother’s grave, you know, to show respect. When we’re on a patrol, you know, and we go into a security halt, we take a knee, and we pull security.”
A meeting was arranged after Boyer wrote an open letter to Kaepernick that was published in the Army Times. In the piece, Boyer recollects how much pride and emotion he felt standing on an NFL sideline as the anthem was played. The experience occurred only one time for Boyer, during a 2015 preseason game, but it was a powerful moment for him.
Boyer wrote that he was initially upset with Kaepernick but decided to remain open to the quarterback’s message. The two then met in early September.
Thanks for the invite brother… Good talk. Let's just keep moving forward. This is what America should be all about pic.twitter.com/LgjPpjk173
— Nate Boyer (@NateBoyer37) September 2, 2016
Boyer was asked by Bryant Gumbel during the interview if Kaepernick was receptive during their meeting, specifically concerning how it would be better to kneel than sit during the anthem.
“Very receptive. He said, ‘I think that would be– I think– I think that would be really powerful,'” Boyer said. “And, you know, he asked me to do it with him. And I said, ‘Look, I’ll stand next to you. I gotta stand though. I gotta stand with my hand on my heart. That’s just– that’s just what I do and where I’m from.'”
Boyer goes on to say he received a lot of criticism over his decision to meet with Kaepernick, with some accusing him of being a disgrace to the Green Berets. Others in military, however, praised him for his decision, he told Gumbel.