Colin Kaepernick: Quarterback says he has received death threats

    Story highlights

    • Kaepernick: Racism disguised as patriotism
    • NFL star has been protesting racial inequality
    • Controversially knelt during US anthem

    (CNN)At the vanguard of debate about racial inequality in recent weeks, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick says he has received death threats for making his views known.

    Kaepernick has refused to stand for the "Star Spangled Banner" before NFL games, instead sitting or taking a knee, to protest against what he has previously described as racist police practice and the continued oppression of black people in America.
        The death threats have come from a "couple of different avenues" including social media Kaepernick told reporters Tuesday, in comments carried by CSN Bay Area.
        When asked about whether somebody were to act upon the specific threats made towards him, Kapaernick said "it will be loud and clear for everyone why it happened, and that would move this movement forward at a greater speed than what it is even now."
        "There's a lot of racism disguised as patriotism in this country. And people don't like to address that. And they don't like to address what the root of this protest is," he added.
        Kaepernick has spoken passionately in the past of what he views as the not always positive attitudes of law enforcement agencies towards minorities in America.


        This was an issue Kaepernick touched upon again Tuesday in discussing the death of Terrence Crutcher, an unarmed black man, who was gunned down by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Friday. "That's a perfect example of what this is about. I think it'll be very telling what happens with the officer that killed him," Kaepernick said.
        Kaepernick reiterated that tragic events such as these were the reason he decided to start his protest. "I find it very hard that people don't understand what's going on. I think the message has been out there loud and clear for quite some time now."
        In recent weeks numerous American sports stars have shown solidarity with Kaepernick by kneeling during the US anthem, which is played in stadiums before most major sporting events.
        Kaepernick's 49ers teammate Eric Reid has knelt by his side while LA players Kenny Britt and Robert Quinn raised their fists during the Star Spangled Banner as the NFL season began.
        Since then, US women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe has joined in the protest and Kaepernick's 49ers teammates Antoine Bethea, Eli Harold, Jaquiski Tartt and Rashard Robinson also took to raising their fists as the anthem played before Sunday's match against the Carolina Panthers.