Kansas City Chiefs’ Marcus Peters holds his right clenched fist up high during the national anthem
Marcus Peters had already voiced his support for Colin Kaepernick, who decided to kneel during the national anthem. Peters, who was wearing a Black glove on his right hand, raised the hand up with his fist clenched while the anthem was played before the Chiefs’ first game of the NFL season against the San Diego Chargers.
Peters’ gesture was likened to the moment in 1968 Olympics when Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised black-gloved fists to represent Black power and unity in America.
“It’s big,” Peters said. “It’s real big what they’re doing. I salute Colin for what he’s doing. He’s standing up for a great cause,” he added. Colin Kaepernick, who has been under scrutiny by a number of people in the country, decided to take a stand for the Black people and minorities in the country who have been suffering from systemic racism and oppression for decades.
Marcus Peters of the Chiefs, raising his fist during anthem. Dissent – especially in this NFL climate, – is brave. pic.twitter.com/VaGNS5pD45
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) September 11, 2016
Late last month, a journalist labeled Kaepernick’s protest “the boldest display of athletic activism since that 1968 black-power salute in Mexico.”
Peters was the only member of his team to raise his fist, but he wasn’t the only to make a gesture of solidarity, as the rest of the Chiefs team linked arms during the anthem as a sign of unity. The players released a statement saying:
“After having a number of thoughtful discussions as a group regarding our representation during the National Anthem, we decided collectively to lock arms as a sign of solidarity. It was our goal to be unified as a team and to be respectful of everyone’s opinions, and the remembrance of 9/11. It’s our job as professional athletes to make a positive impact on our communities and to be proactive when change is needed. Together we are going to continue to have conversations, educate ourselves and others on social issues and work with local law enforcement officials and leaders to make an impact on the Kansas City community.”
I respect my family @marcuspeters for being a great father, family man, and all the work he does for his community!
— Delency (@Delency_) August 10, 2016
The voices of Black celebrities could be heard as they have got the platform to push for positive changes in our society. They understand the difficulties Black people face and the importance of unity. We have to continue our fight against the disease called racism. We applaud what Kaepernick, Peters and other Black celebrities are doing to make our voices heard.