A United States Navy sailor reportedly joined NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest Monday at a base in Hawaii, refusing to stand while the “Star Spangled Banner” played because of discrimination toward blacks in the United States. Eight-year Navy reserve veteran and intelligence specialist Janaye Ervin's decision not to stand for the national anthem resulted in the stripping of her security clearance and a threat of jail time, according to a post Wednesday on her Facebook page.
Ervin is not the first sailor to participate in the protest. According to Military.com, an unidentified sailor is facing administrative action after she posted a video on Facebook about her refusal to stand during morning colors. Navy officials reportedly became aware of the video on Aug. 31. The sailor said during the video that the national anthem “basically says land of the free, home of the brave, except for hirelings and slaves and I just can’t support anything like that.
She added: “I think Colin had a really good point when he said we had bodies in the streets.”
It’s unclear what potential penalties Ervin or the other sailor could face for their actions. Ervin and the Navy’s Office Of Public Affairs did not immediately respond Thursday to a request for comment. The New York Daily News' Shaun King first reported the Facebook post.
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepnerick has created a domino effect, with more NFL players joining his decision to sit, kneel, raise a fist, or join arms with teammates while the “Star Spangled Banner” is played before games this season, and going forward, until they see real change in how blacks are treated in the U.S.
Kaepernick began his protest during the NFL preseason last month, calling for change in how blacks are treated by police following the numerous deaths of black men from being shot by police. The police killings of Terrence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, saw national protests this week.
Kaepernick has received widespread criticism and many viewed his protest against the anthem and the American flag as disrespectful to the military. Kaepernick has said his stance is not against the military and that he’s thankful for their service that protects his free speech and allows him to protest. Kaepernick has received support from members of the military in both public comments and social media posts.