Burgess Owens Won’t Stand for Colin Kaepernick's Kneeling

Kristian Dyer

Burgess Owens, a former NFL safety who played for the New York Jets, says he is prepared to stop watching the league because of Commissioner Roger Goodell’s recent lobbying for the return of Colin Kaepernick and the sanctioning of player protests during the national anthem.

“If Goodell allows Kaepernick to come back, if they allow players to kneel during the national anthem, I’m willing to not watch the game,” Owens, who is Black and Republican, told Sports Illustrated’s JetCountry.com.

“The only thing that can change the league is to change commissioners. This has been going on way too long, it is four years of this mess.”

Owens, who spent 10 years between the Jets and Oakland Raiders, currently is running for Congress in Utah on a platform of family values. He is one of the few prominent former Black players who is siding with President Donald Trump on the issue of NFL players protesting social issues during the national anthem.

The issue with Kaepernick and his protests has been a tricky one for the league over the past few years. However, in recent days, Goodell has said that the league would welcome Kaepernick back. The quarterback hasn’t played since 2016 with the San Francisco 49ers and recently settled a lawsuit with the league in which he accused the NFL of blacklisting him due to his protests. He has repeatedly stated that he is not protesting the national anthem itself but merely using this moment before a game as a platform for these issues.

Goodell also has said that the league was wrong in its handling of the protests.

Taken in the first round of the 1973 NFL Draft by the Jets, Owens is running in Utah’s fourth district. The state’s primary is June 30. This is his first dive into politics although he has been outspoken as an author and speaker on conservative issues for quite some time. In recent years, he has been actively engaged in mentoring youth.

A Democrat during his playing days, Owens says his political evolution came in the 1980s during the Ronald Reagan administration. Back then, he found his views as a small business owner more aligned with the Republican party. He cites values of faith and education as being influential in his switching of parties during this time.

Owens says he was influenced by an upbringing in which education was emphasized. His father, a World War II veteran, was a college professor at Florida A&M. His mother was a high school teacher.

He calls the current tension in the country part “of a culture war in which there is an ideology trying to tear our country apart.” For two weeks, the nation has been gripped by protests over the very policing issues and anti-racism that led Kaepernick to take a knee four years ago.

Owens adds that the movement to bring back Kaepernick isn’t based on meritocracy.

“If it was a meritocracy he would be out there anyway, he would work hard, he would prove himself. He wouldn’t be taking someone else’s position. We’re looking at Affirmative Action for a Marxist. We’re approving their ideology,” Owens said.

“If we’re going that route, we should also ask Tim Tebow to come back. It doesn’t matter how long he’s been out of the game. It doesn’t matter his talent. He was a Christian who kneeled in prayer and was a positive on his team. The reason why Tim Tebow, as talented as he was with the Denver Broncos, the NFL didn’t like his essence. They thought he was too distracting…too distracting to his team and the organization.

“Meanwhile we’re willing to have the distraction of a Marxist, a Castro, brother loving Marxist to come back and play that many Americans don’t want to see him play. I just find it very disappointing. The NFL lost 15 percent of their audience last time, maybe a little bit more. The goal has been to increase their base, their revenue by going overseas to places like China, Mexico and England. They don’t care enough about their fans who love this country.”

Owens says Kaepernick should not be praised. During his time outside the NFL, Kaepernick has remained in the spotlight and, while he has stated a desire to continue playing, his advocacy work and mobilization of public issues have defined him more than having quarterbacked the 49ers to the Super Bowl during the 2012 season.

“We have too many Americans now accepting the notion that the flag should be a place where people should be ashamed of or take a knee, that’s what it comes down to,” Owens said.

“I am disappointed that so many people are acquiescing today. They don’t understand the American way, they don’t understand the price paid. They need to understand that we can’t be bullied and [also] that we’re not an evil country. There is no other country in the world with the mixing of races and tolerance. We have to change the current narrative.”

Comments (89)
No. 1-37
Leonard G.
Leonard G.

Mr. Owens seem to be conveniently motivated by his desire to enter politics in "trump country". No politician should object to peaceful, non-violent protest/free speech, what's more American than that.

Jane99
Jane99

You know what the worst part of it about these ignoramus, hateful divas.... they say the country is irredeemably racist while the countrymen and women who have paid hundreds if not thousands sit in the stands, funding the mansions of sneering divas, all types of countrymen mixing together and happily enjoying a game.... and yet half of them are immediately slandered with the eternal sin of “white supremacy”, whatever that means (they don’t know what it means either, which is why absolutely no debate is allowed, just bend to their will and admit your unworthiness). Every country every tribe on the planet has a malicious past, some of them still occurring. China, the Middle East, Africa, Mexico. The American Founding was based in something truly beautiful and that is apparent in the sheer success of its people. Why has America been so successful? Could it be when liberty, free speech and debate, a truly educated population, civil society, morals, and opportunity to enter free market exist, the human spirit can achieve great things? If it was systemically racist, we would not have Oprah, Obama, black immigrants, or success in this country, when really, its all over. “The poorest 20% of Americans consume more goods and services than the national averages for all people in most affluent countries. This includes the majority of countries in the prestigious Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), including its European members. In other words, if the U.S. “poor” were a nation, it would be one of the world’s richest.” Nigerian Americans are one of the most successful immigrant groups.

Why do we know America is a great country? If there is injustice, it is condemned. Because the majority of Americans are good decent human beings. And they don’t deserve to be lectured by know nothing, bad attitude players, preening from their $3M mansions in San Jose in the freest country an face of the earth.

Thegoose
Thegoose

My one and only question for burgess owens (note the lack of caps) would be why so patriotic about a flag that you took no part in securing? Remember you played "football", you didn't join any branches of the military to fight for the freedoms that you claim to hold so dear. You are just like your lord and savior don the con trump and all his wickedness. Please have several seats with your has been ass!!!!!

Out

SirChuc72
SirChuc72

Just another irrelevant ex NFL player that's looking for attention....a small business owner that was just looking out for self...

Iamthatiam
Iamthatiam

So Burgess Owens will not stand for C. K's kneeling? Who cares? There will be more than just Colin kneeling, hundreds of players will be kneeling as well. Get a life!

Kritikos
Kritikos

'They' always manage to find and promote coons like this~~it never fails. Next stop, fox news!

rbrown937
rbrown937

If you think you being against Kaepernick kneeling is going to get you more votes in Utah you better start buck dancing too

BigSexi1954
BigSexi1954

What has been lost in this whole thing as to why Kaepernick took a knee. It turned into this false Patriotic disrespect for the American Flag. Never was about the Flag but it was made into that. Kneeling is the most respectful way to protest whatever you're protesting. I would have thought these so called Christians would be in support of someone who is attempting to change an injustice the senseless Murder of unarmed Black Men by our Uniformed Police. But I guess not. This country is so Hypocritical about issues it's sickening. The Constitution is something Americans choose when it fits their agenda or their particular right. I'll say this let me be clear, if you are not a person of Color you one don't understand and two are not qualified to speak about Police treatment and or injustices. Can't do it, you can voice your opinion. I digress but this whole thing is something that people are all over the board. Make it personal, and show prejudice which I feel is the real truth, because when Tim Tebow was kneeling it was all good. And for all you people who think the singing of the National Anthem is something the NFL has been doing for a while the answer to that question is no, didn't start doing it until the late 70's and you know why $$$$$, the DoD cut a deal with the NFL to help recruit and they thought what other way to get our message across to the masses Sunday Football, Oh before then the Teams stayed in the locker rooms, and to this day there are players who stay in the locker room until after the National Anthem. So bottom line this whole thing is just Bullshit, oh one other thing I'm not Party Affiliated, so when start spitting BS, just so you know.

MCBIRD
MCBIRD

He had one too many concussions! Also too much white History lies!

Bcav77
Bcav77

Owens, get back on the Democrat plantation. You don't have no freedom of speech here

perfect
perfect

So whenever a black man doesn't fit the mold, without fail he is called out to be an Uncle Tom, which in itself is bigoted, a close relative to racism. When they don't agree with the narrative, and MUST be all wrong, they are a traitor. Maybe they know something you don't? Maybe they've studied some history you haven't? Maybe they've had a different experience than you? Maybe they know that there is an incredible amount of nuance and context in people's lives?

One last thing... why is the following not being asked?
The feeling and sentiment from blacks and other minorities living in most major cities is negative, lets just say that. What has the status quo been for groups living in those areas? Who makes the decisions that affect their lives very directly? The mayors, city councils, police chiefs, district attorneys, congressmen, senators, etc. These are the people who make and enforce the institutions and "system" that is being railed against. SOOOO... the MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION to ask - who is running and creating these systems for the past 50+ years? The ANSWER - the Democratic party. Your leaders, your champions, by your own admission are failing you. They are Democratic majority. The party that espouses itself as the party for blacks and minorities... if I am someone who felt that way I couldn't help but feel like they're doing a horrible job. Especially since they just blame it all on the other side, the one not in charge, rather than produce lasting results and change. Why would you not look at the status quo and say maybe it's time for a change? I also do realize the response of "well the other side is worse" will be given... so to that I say, what do you have to lose? According to the current narrative, y'all are already losing... so maybe stop blindly assuming the party who says "we have your best interests in mind" actually does have your best interest in mind.

Bsaul1167
Bsaul1167

Ignorance is bliss...Bending the knee is NOT a sign of disrespect but a protest to the unjust treatment of People of color...Humans who are covered under our Constitution as being equal yet demonstrated not to be by the treatment received not only by Government Officials but by Anglos who feel they are better than all others who are not white. Owens is running for office in what I am sure is a primarily white community so he has to kiss some butt to win...sad he doesn't choose to see how people of color are truly suffering even now in these times...what do you say about the 5 young men who were hanged? Why don't you go talk to their parents and see what they have to say about your views on bending the knee?

Frazier1969
Frazier1969

Mr. Owens appears to be on the wrong side of history. Is disappointing to see him take a stand against a righteous movement.

Mrstezzy22
Mrstezzy22

Black man in Utah huh?.. Enough said..Mr yes sir boss ownens..smh u should b a shame

Carol H.
Carol H.

Owens we have left the plantation and so have our children, please don’t mentor them as you no matter your success are shackled mentally! I am sad for your mindset!

Longhawk
Longhawk

So mr. Owens your father served in World War II? How did he feel when he came back only to learn that the promises of free education and mortgage was denied because he was black? Some states officially went on the books making it illegal for a black person to own a home. In fact the very state that you played in, New York.
Thanks for bringing up Tim Tebow and confirming your Republican skewed Outlook and bullshit justification for being against Kaepernick. Tim Tebow was no different than what they said about Charlie Ward. His style of play didn't dictate over to the Pro game. The guy made one good pass in a playoff game and they won as a result meanwhile the defense who kept them in all those games was ignored and they spoke up about it.
Tebow isn't in the pros because he throws like a girl and has a weak arm. Compare Kaepernick's stats (70 TDs, 25 INTs) to Tebow's (17 TDs, 9 INTs).

Dlane3157
Dlane3157

You're not the only one in the world sounds like jealousy to me

colts123
colts123

You sound like quite the racist. So if you are black you have to vote for a Democrat?
Trump has the lowest unemployment numbers for african americans and hispanics. He passes prison reform. He gave the most money to african american colleges. What did Obama do??

elderE
elderE

Any Black man voting for Trump needs counseling

elderE
elderE

Dude, if you’re not White I’ll eat my hat.

elderE
elderE

There is not enough room in this post to address this level of ethnic ineptitude. He acts as though what Colin is doing is so shameful then mentions that America doesn’t back down. I was certainly discouraged by his self-centeredness. Only concerned about himself. Funny how Reagan’s presidency inspired him to be republican when that same President solidified my decision to be a Democrat. I respect nothing he said.

Albert Flasher
Albert Flasher

Who?

Ray. Hinchman
Ray. Hinchman

Mr. Owens,
I agree with you 100%! Please don’t back down, give up or give in. Stay strong!

2black2strong
2black2strong

Just like o.j. They like you when you're on top. But when they turn on you. Oh..you gonna learn , ask momma owens

Streetglide
Streetglide

I support Mr. Burgess's right to blow of the NFL, an entity that made him rich. I also support Colin's right to get a fair shot to play cause when he has a decent OL he is a hell of a QB. Not too interested in the rest of it, especially the ignorant comments above. Jets are gonna suck again...

WillHowell
WillHowell

Mr. Ownes I thank god for you!! We need 100 more minds like yours to take over politics and bring sanity back to this world. None of the people who speak negatively to you understand the real world and what is going on; they are not critical thinkers enough to see beyond the false media that is destroying our nation or they are just unhappy in their own life. I hope you find power and strength in knowing that you have support and are on the right side. Drown out the negative voices and charge forward!

Jane99
Jane99

Burgess Owens is 100% right. Kaepernick is an antisemitic propagandist spreading Marxist lies and encouraging division and hate. If it’s “not about the flag” they could kneel at any other time, but instead they have to slap good Americans in the face instead and accuse them of all being racists. That’s what “systemic racism” is, a giant lie that smears and dehumanizes an entire group of people. Kap and the rest of the Hate America First crowd will never make things better - for example their calls to “defund the police” will only create more chaos, more death, less business investment, less hope in minority communities. These rich celebrities, corporations, and media pundits have all these “protesting” supporters fooled - they could care less about making minority communities better. They only care about protecting their own bank accounts from the cry bullies and cancel terror mob. If they actually cared, they wouldn’t blame average Americans and all police, they would address what’s actually taking place in these communities that experience high crime and therefore higher interactions with police. There are generations of kids growing up without fathers, there are school systems in these Democrat controlled cities and states with 3% competency in school grade achievement. Democrats promote the welfare state to replace fathers, weaken the judicial system and are soft on crime so that communities are continually victim to repeat violent criminals, promote abortion, are hostile to religion, work ethic, and chastity, and always vote against School Choice or Charter School initiatives. And Democrat-entrenched, publicly funded education works hand in hand with champagne socialist, elitist media and wealthy politicos, and Marxist tenured professors to create generations of lied to, confused, angry, hopeless children. Also as a FORMER 49ers fan who is blacklisting the NFL this year, Kap couldn’t have gone to the bench fast enough, he was a terrible player who made bad decisions most if not all the time. He had a few golden months as a “running QB” but that only fooled teams for so long. The Niners were so much better without his diva attitude and “substandard” (in relation to other NFL) talent. He also blew his chance last summer with his diva attitude during his workout training opportunity.

Sumame
Sumame

Mr. Owens is a sellout to Trump and the crap that the GOP stands for and believes. He pretty much parrots what Trump says. Mr. Owens can try to convince people that he cares about black people. However, his actions speak louder than his words. He might talk the talk, but he certainly doesn't walk the walk. smh

AndSoItGoes
AndSoItGoes

This guy has the gaul to sit on his high horse that he doesn't even own.. The Flag.. Let it be know that Black Men Fought On the Front Lines and Died For a Country That They Had No Rights In.. Coon doesn't begin to describe the type of person you are.. What have you done Mr Football Player For Your Hood.. What School did you build what Small Black Businesses have you funded? What Homes have you built to Lift your people.. What Money have you given to the Plight.. Nothing, None, Not one, Nada, Zero..
You think you have the right to speak on the Struggles of Black Life just because you are Black.. No you Do Not.. You are whats wrong with the Black Community You Made It and Disappeared.. So When It Comes To Us Judas Iscariot .. Run To Your Master and Keep You Thoughts To Yourself..

RonWesley
RonWesley

Mr. Owens, why haven't you said anything about police brutality? That's why he's taking a knee and nothing about the flag. He had the courage to do that when knowone would, years ago. He was ahead of all of us. Where were you? Are you taking this position for political reasons? If you can't see a problem with the system, how can you be a part of the solution? With all due respect, stay out of politics. You will only do more harm.

RonWesley
RonWesley

See how people are so willing to be hard on someone else. This country was founded on rights and freedom, but not for black men. Mr. Owens, he has the right to kneel, just as you have the right not to watch. I too have the right to vote. You won't get it.

Reversegrip
Reversegrip

Only an idiot would support a klown that claims he's for social justice while he's wearing Fidel Castro shirt. Schitting on our flag (which has nothing to do with this problem) isn't going to get anything done. The people that need to be addressed with the plight of the black people are on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Those particular scum are called lawmakers. Thee very same ones they keep voting for. And the very same ones that continue to hold them under thumb. They aren't watching the national anthem on Sunday afternoons. They don't give a damn about the flag, or the national anthem, or the country for that matter. They only worry about the corruption they can commit and get away with. Unfortunately, at the same time they're the only ones that can change the way things are done so this doesn't happen anymore(Minnesota). Rocket science, isn't it.

ProudAmerican1
ProudAmerican1

I wouldn’t personally kneel during the national anthem, but I respect Mr. Kaepernick’s right to do so. It’s peaceful and physically harms no one. I laugh because it’s okay to honor and protect statues and the flag of the confederacy, yet it was the confederacy that tried to kill the soldiers that fought under the American flag. The NFL just reinstated a guy (Miles Garrett) who just assaulted another player on national television by ripping off his helmet and hitting him in the head with it. But, Miles Garrett who is going to sign a big contract is “mentally fit” to play.

As for Burgess Owens, I think this is all politics. Tim Tebow’s not playing because he’s not a good QB, not because he’s polarizing. Also, Tebow was given three more opportunities after he was traded. Tebow is a man of faith as well Mr. Owens. I bet he would forgive Mr. Kaepernick and move on. Your party Mr. Owens is led by a man who said a POW isn’t a hero because he got captured during the Vietnam war. Isn’t that a slap in the face to the soldiers who fought under that flag as well and were captured? I don’t see you protesting your leader who received 5 deferments due to undiagnosed bone spurs so he could skip that same war. What a coward.

Dbradley
Dbradley

Let me be as polite as humanly possible, Boy bye!

Singerk
Singerk

Kaepernick Does not deserve to come back. He wasn’t that great of a QB anyway but that’s here nor there. He disrespected Our national Anthem and Our Flag. He got what he deserved. If he wanted to protest he should have done it on his Own time and on his Own dime.
He is just an ungrateful POS imho

DonnaAdams1
DonnaAdams1

He’s disturbed! You should have just kept your comments to yourself. Kaepernick deserves to come back if he wants to. He should have never been done the way he was. No one wanted to listen then and now it had to take how many blacks dying on camera before the lightbulb finally came on. Now you have the audacity to sit there in the finest stage of coonery talking your nonsense! Really dude, stay retired and quiet. That works best for you. I understand what Russell Westbrook was saying now. You fit right in with them! Wow!!

simric1962
simric1962

Mr. Burgess Owens should be ashamed of being a black man! The images are on TV every day almost of unarmed black men being killed every day by the Police. You say you will stop watching the NFL if Kaepernic returns. That many people also will not watch. Well, I'm willing to bet that the MAJORITY of people will. I've noticed that black people who've made a lot of money and also made a name for themselves have turned to the Republican party. Why, because the Republican party protects people with money as well as Corporations, with tax cuts. And that is the real reason.