A direct descendant of Francis Scott Key said that San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick is dishonoring himself by failing to stand during the national anthem.
Key penned his famous poem, which became the national anthem, after witnessing the courageous stand of the soldiers manning Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor against a furious British naval bombardment during the War of 1812.
“It just broke my heart to think that someone that gets so much money for playing a ballgame, who is half black, half white would do this,” said Shirley Carole Isham, a great great great granddaughter of Key, according to USA Today Sports.
Isham’s ancestry was verified by the Daughters of American Revolution in 1977.
“So many of his black race are oppressed, but it’s not by the whites, it’s by their own people. Look who their leaders are, and the president. Has (Barack Obama) done anything for these people?” the Texas resident added.
In March, Isham celebrated her 80th birthday party at Fort McHenry.
“When the battle began, [Key] stayed up on that deck all night long praying that the fort would not fall (to the British),” Isham told USA Today Sports. “Then at dawn, when all the clouds and the smoke and everything cleared away, he could see our (American) flag flying. And that was the inspiration for the song.”
“It’s very painful for me,” Isham said of the protests.
“I cry every time it’s played because I have so much admiration for my grandpa and the national anthem,” she added.
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She continued, “It just blows my mind that somebody like (Kaepernick) would do what he does to dishonor the flag of this country and the national anthem when we have young men and women overseas fighting for this country, people that have died for this country.”
“If he’s not going to honor his country and his countrymen, he’s dishonoring himself,” Isham noted. “This tells you an awful lot about him.”