The Sharks’ winger has made up his mind: Joel Ward will not be kneeling during the national anthem.
He released this statement via Twitter earlier:
Some thoughts...excuse the length! pic.twitter.com/YUNMgjaAgn— Joel Ward (@JRandalWard42) September 28, 2017
It’s clear that these are still issues that Ward cares deeply about. But the message of Colin Kaepernick’s protest has been lost, with many athletes misinterpreting it to be anti-military or anti-Trump. It’s unclear what exactly is being protested anymore.
Ward says that he respects and supports those who have taken a knee to bring awareness to the systematic racism in the United States. While he’s not choosing to bring awareness in that particular way, he still plans to work to create meaningful change.
He ends the statement with a quote from Jackie Robinson. Ward wears 42 to honor Robinson’s legacy as the first black Major League Baseball player.