Nate Boyer was hoping to see Colin Kaepernick on his feet, but he also thinks that kneeling was a big step.
The former Green Beret and Seahawks training camp long snapper spoke with Kaepernick for 90 minutes about his protest of racism and police brutality by sitting during the national anthem last week, and was next to him when he took a knee last night in San Diego.
“I was hoping he was going to stand up,” Boyer told Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. “I would have loved that even more. But I understand what he’s doing and I respect the right to do that.
“It was nice to see him give a little ground here to show he was willing to take a step forward and listen. That’s an important step for a person in his position to get across. He’s showing that he’s open in this conversation as well. It’s not just saying, ‘I’m going to sit until someone else fixes the problem.’ It’s more about, ‘I give you a little, you give me a little and let’s try to work it out.'”
That’s a remarkably reasonable position to a debate that has often lacked civility.
Boyer said he and Kaepernick talked about their backgrounds, and how the protest was perceived. He also hopes the statement leads to more discussion, such as a town hall setting “where we can move the conversation forward with police officers, military veterans, and people of all backgrounds and different organizations.”
Mostly, Boyer seemed to come across as impressed by Kaepernick’s sincerity and seriousness about the issues, which is a step in the right direction.