Colin Kaepernick: Micah Richards on respecting NFL player on taking the knee

Colin Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016; he gained widespread attention that year for taking a knee during the national anthem to protest structural and racial inequalities; Micah Richards discusses the issues behind this game-changing act

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Micah Richards reveals his admiration for Colin Kaepernick in a new documentary which will air on Sky Documentaries on Monday from 9pm

Micah Richards has opened up on how he grew to admire and respect Colin Kaepernick over his "brave" act of defiance in a new programme to be shown on Sky Documentaries on Monday from 9pm.

Speaking in the programme, Micah Richards: Tackling Racism in Football, the former Manchester City and England defender said the timing of taking a knee by the NFL player during the national anthem and risking his career is why he is so highly regarded.

Richards said: "For someone to put his whole life on the line for the good of the people, at one of the worst possible times to do that, he probably had death threats and his life was probably hell, I can't have any more respect for him.

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"Would I put my whole career on the line the way he did? Probably not. People are talking about Black Lives Matter now because it's fashionable but for him to do it then, I just have so much respect for him."

AP  Colin Kaepernick
Image: Colin Kaepernick (centre) took the knee in 2016 in protest against police brutality, racial injustice and social inequality

Sky Sports News reporter Richard Graves, who interviewed Richards about the documentary, was impressed by the passion with which he spoke about Kaepernick's legacy.

Graves says: "What struck me about the whole interview, apart from how enthusiastically he speaks on the subject due to his own experiences both as a boy growing up and latterly as a professional footballer, was when he spoke about Colin Kaepernick.

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The inside story of how former Green Beret Nate Boyer inspired NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to take a knee back in September 2016

"Let's be honest, this was a genesis of everything we have seen at the time and then amplified and brought to the fore by President Trump's remarks on NFL players taking the knee at the national anthem.

"The thing that struck me about the whole interview was when Micah Richards turned around and said 'to see what Colin Kaepernick did and then to understand it are two different things', largely because in his opinion no professional athlete in this country would be willing to risk as much as Colin Kaepernick did, namely sacrificing his entire career for a cause and a belief that he wanted to bring to the fore and create debate about in the public eye."

Micah Richards: Tackling Racism in Football is available on Sky Documentaries and NOW TV from Monday January 25 at 9pm.

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