San Francisco 49er Antoine Bethea and teammate Eli Harold joined quarterback Colin Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid in protest during the national anthem before Monday’s win over the Rams.
In an attempt to bring awareness about police brutality carried out against black citizens, Bethea and Harold didn’t kneel during the anthem, but each raised a fist: “echoing the iconic images of John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City,” said Jordan Sargent at DeadSpin.com.
On joining his teammates and 14 NFL players in total who have performed some kind of protest during the national anthem Bethea said:
“I did it to keep the conversation going. A lot more guys in the league want to do it but they are afraid. You see (Broncos linebacker) Brandon Marshall already lost endorsements.”
“I respect why Kap is doing it. I respect his purpose. This is not to disrespect anyone, but we have a platform and we have to bring awareness to the issues. Now, though, it’s time to take the next step and take actions into the community.”
“We need to take action now,” Bethea said. “Hopefully, all parties will get involved and we can use something like this, and (use) our platforms and players and teams to find answers in other cities and communities.”
HBCU standout Antoine Bethea joined by Eli Harold of UVA pic.twitter.com/BCNi8rDMWs
— NFL Draft Diamonds (@DraftDiamonds) September 13, 2016