Missouri state senator sits during Pledge of Allegiance at veto session

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KTVI) – Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed went through with her plans to stand in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick – by taking a seat.

Nasheed (D-St. Louis) said she will sit down during the Pledge of Allegiance ahead of Wednesday’s veto session at the Missouri state capitol. Every legislative session usually starts with a prayer and the pledge. She sat for the pledge but stood up for the prayer.

Kaepernick, the backup quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, initially sat down on the bench during the Star-Spangled Banner to protest police brutality and unfair treatment of minorities by law enforcement. Kaepernick sat for the first three weeks of the preseason before opting to take a knee instead.

Kaepernick’s teammate Eric Reid joined him in kneeling for the national anthem ahead of the Niners’ Week 1 contest against the Los Angeles Rams. Two other teammates, Antoine Bethea and Eli Harold, as well as Kenny Britt and Robert Quinn from the Rams, could be seen with their fists in the air during the anthem. The gesture evokes the raised fist protest of runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Summer Olympics.

According to our partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, released a statement shortly after the pledge to express his disappointment in Nasheed's decision to sit:

"There is no question of the senator’s right to remain seated during the Pledge, but it’s a question of the propriety of her action. I worry about the example she is setting, particularly for our young people. I believe our best hope for tackling the tough issues of racial unity and economic opportunity is through the shared commitment to the principles and ideals that make America great."

Nasheed tweeted her actions were not intended to be unpatriotic, but rather to draw attention to a national problem.