BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Whether you agree or disagree with Colin Kaepernick’s decision to take a knee during the national anthem, the San Francisco 49’er has started a movement. From high school football games to other pro-athletes on the field, he’s starting a conversation.
Last week, Common Council member, Ulysees Wingo, stood in solidarity with Kaepernick when he raised his fist in the air during the Pledge of Allegiance.
“I don’t think this is going to slow down, I honestly believe that this is only going to continue to gather momentum until we actually have the conversations that matter. We all matter,” said Wingo.
Now a local reverend is joining the movement. Reverend Will Mebane of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral wore a Kaepernick jersey during his sermon at Sunday’s mass.
“I have for years, personally struggled with standing for the national anthem, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance because as an African American when I say those words, when I sing those words, I know they don’t ring true for me,” said Reverend Mebane.
Reverend Mebane calls Kaepernick a “modern day prophet” for starting a tough conversation.
“I feel threatened almost daily in this city, in this nation because of the color of my skin. Buffalo can be another Baltimore, Buffalo could be another Ferguson,it could become another Charlotte, very easily,” said Reverend Mebane.
Both Reverend Mebane and Common Council member Wingo say protesting in public was a difficult decision for them. They say they’ve received hate mail since joining this movement.
“I will not be standing for the national anthem, I will not be reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, not until the words in the anthem and the pledge are true for me and for all people in this nation,” said Reverend Mebane.