Former US Army Green Beret-turned-long snapper Nate Boyer made headlines Tuesday after offering a unique take regarding Colin Kaepernick’s decision not stand for the national anthem.
Boyer, a Bay Area native and self-proclaimed Kaepernick fan, explained in an op-ed on armytimes.com that although Kaepernick’s actions initially caused him anger as a veteran, his respect for the quarterback’s courage to stand up (or perhaps more accurately, sit down) for what he believes in, has made Boyer willing to keep an open mind.
The piece was a welcome, and balanced respite from the sensational rhetoric that has followed this story. Boyer reiterated his even-handed stance during an interview with Tolbert and Lund on KNBR Wednesday, and explained his conflicting feelings.
“When this whole thing came down, immediately I was just really disappointed,” Boyer said. “Because I’m a big fan and obviously a veteran. I didn’t really ask why so much as I just assumed he was being ignorant and didn’t know what he was talking about, but what I’m trying to do is just shut my mouth and open my ears a little bit and listen.”
Boyer both supports Kaepernick’s freedom to protest and his choice to stand up for racial injustice, even if he’s not entirely sold on the manner in which he’s doing it.
“The best I can do is try to keep and open mind and just support his choice,” Boyer said. “Support his freedom and right to protest. Even if I may not totally agree with the actions, he has that right and that’s what we as veterans have fought for and we have fought for that right to disagree with him.”
“Everybody is different. There is not just a clear cut ‘this is right, this is wrong.’ That’s what makes it difficult. That’s why these are issues. But it’s important we talk about them.”
Boyer has stressed that he is not a political person, and that he will continue to view this situation with a non-partisan lens.
“I just want people to stop hating each other.”