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Roland Martin sat down with legendary actor and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte on Wednesday for an exclusive interview. During their discussion, Martin and Belafonte covered a variety of topics, including Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the National Anthem at football games.

Belafonte, who is no stranger to taking a stand on an unpopular issue, shared with Martin his profound thoughts on Kaepernick’s symbolic gesture to stand with the oppressed and address the backlash the NFL quarterback is experiencing.

Martin asked Belafonte about his thoughts on the reports detailing anger coming from NFL front office officials about Kaepernick’s protests, in which an undisclosed number of individuals said they would not sign the embattled quarterback if he was released from the San Francisco 49ers.

Mr. Belafonte told Martin, “To mute the slave is always been to the best interests of the slave owner.

“When a Black voice is raised in protest to oppression, those who are comfortable with our oppression are the first to criticize us for daring to speak out against it.”

Belafonte, who played a prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement, called Kaepernick’s decision to stand against the oppression of African-Americans a “noble thing.”

He continued, “I think that speaking out and making people aware of the fact that you are paying homage to an anthem that also has a constituency that by the millions suffer is a righteous thing to do.”

The civil rights icon added, “The fact that these people are having these ‘How dare you speak out against lynching?’ and all of the things that racism stands for or the conclusions to racist acts permit – I think is a statement about America.”

For having brought this attention to the plight of African-Americans who suffer at the hands of heavy-handed policing, which in many instances end in the deaths of Black men and women, Mr. Belafonte called Kaepernick “a noble and courageous man.”

Watch Roland Martin’s exclusive interview with legendary actor and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte in the video clip above.


Watch NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.


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Belafonte On Kaepernick: ‘To Mute The Slave Has Always Been In The Best Interest Of Slave Owners’  was originally published on