Since his refusal to stand during the national anthem, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been making headlines for protesting what he calls injustices against African Americans and minorities in the United States. There have been strong reactions on both sides – from outrage at what some call disrespect to solidarity, even increased jersey sales.

But one NFL player, Baltimore Raven’s tight end Benjamin Watson, worries people are misplacing their attention on what’s important.

“Let’s talk about why he is protesting which is because he believes there is unfair treatment of people of color in our country and there’s oppression and that’s important to him and they should be important to all of us. So now as a country let’s talk about these issues. Let’s about this racial divide – is there one? Is there not one? Let’s be honest about that.”

In a Facebook post, Watson detailed his concerns stressing that while Kaepernick is within his rights to kneel during the national anthem he, Watson, would not do the same, despite agreeing that something needs to be done about the racial divide.

“There’s a lot I don’t like about our history, there’s a lot that hurts me, that I’m angry about, that I’m frustrated and sad about but on the other the side this is my home and when I stand I am standing for all of those injustices. I’ve seen progress and I want there to be more progress.”

This post is part of a blog Watson has kept for over four years where he tackles difficult issues from parenting to race relations in America, including Ferguson, Baltimore and Walter Scott.

“We all have a vested interest in our lives and in this country and I’m no different. I’ve used the opportunity to get my thoughts on paper and sometimes people love it sometimes they don’t but I think that’s the great thing is when people are open to having these kinds of conversations.”

Part of what gives Watson hope for progress is his Christian faith. Many of his posts end with a call to focus on the gospel to find a solution.

“But also it’s not enough to say to someone you don’t like, that Jesus loves you and that’s it. Part of the Gospel and part of what believers do is they care about brothers and sisters and they understand there is some action to that faith.”

Watch the full interview with Benjamin Watson here.

Show More

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