Colin Kaepernick insists he will continue to sit during the United States national anthem as a form of protest against oppression "of black people and people of colour".
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepernick's decision to remain seated during the anthem before their preseason game with the Green Bay Packers last Friday has provoked ire and been the subject of widespread debate.
Despite the criticism he has received, Kaepernick will maintain his protest, telling reporters: "Ultimately it's to bring awareness and make people realise what's going on in this country.
"There are a lot of things going on that are unjust, people aren't being held accountable for, and that's something that needs to change.
"As I've gained more knowledge about what's going on in this country in the past, what's going on currently, these aren't new situations.
"This isn't new ground. It's things that have gone on for years and years and haven't been addressed. They need to be."
Addressing the argument that his refusal to stand is unpatriotic, Kaepernick added: "I have great respect the men and women who have fought for this country.
"They fight for freedom. They fight for the people. They fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. And that's not happening.
"People are dying in vain because this country isn't holding their end of the bargain up as far as giving freedom and justice and liberty to everybody. It's something that's not happening.
"This is something that needs to change. When there is significant change, and I feel like that flag represents what it's supposed to represent and this country is representing people the way it's supposed to, I'll stand."