David Wells Criticizes Colin Kaepernick National Anthem Protest, Calls Him 'Idiot'

Exploring the Intersection of Sports and Social Justice Issues.

by Nouman Rasool
David Wells Criticizes Colin Kaepernick National Anthem Protest, Calls Him 'Idiot'
© Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

In the dynamic world of sports, where athletic prowess often intersects with societal issues, the act of taking a knee during the national anthem by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick continues to ignite debate.

This gesture, seen as a symbol of protest against racial injustice and police brutality, has been met with mixed reactions. Recently, David Wells, a renowned former pitcher for the New York Yankees, voiced his strong opposition to Kaepernick's actions.

Last month, Wells appeared on the Outkick show "Don't @ Me" with Dan Dakich and expressed his views candidly.

As someone who identifies as a patriot and hails from a military family in San Diego, Wells found Kaepernick's gesture disrespectful. "When [Colin] Kaepernick took the knee, it's a little disrespect to me," Wells stated. He emphasized his belief in the sanctity of national symbols, suggesting that the national anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance hold a place of honour that should be respected.

"That doesn't prove anything in my mind," Wells continued, "It proves that you're an idiot and standing up for a cause. When the anthem's there, you're in America, you do the anthem, you do the Pledge of Allegiance. That's what you do.

That's what we were taught in elementary school."

Kaepernick's Protest Explained

Kaepernick's actions were not without explanation. He openly stated his reasons for the protest, saying, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of colour." His controversial stance highlighted a crucial conversation about race relations in America.

Wells is not alone in his criticism. Former President Donald Trump also expressed disapproval of Kaepernick, notably at a 2017 political rally, suggesting that players who follow Kaepernick's lead should be fired. Kaepernick's career in the NFL saw a turning point following his protest.

After opting out of re-signing with the 49ers post-2016 season, he became a free agent. Despite his talent, no team, including the Seattle Seahawks, signed him, who showed initial interest but ultimately passed. Rumours circulated around a problematic workout with the Las Vegas Raiders in May, but Kaepernick's agent refuted these. To date, Kaepernick remains a free agent, his professional future in the league is uncertain.

Colin Kaepernick