Matthew Stafford’s wife apologizes to Colin Kaepernick for past criticism: ‘I have opened my ears, mind, and heart’

The wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford issued an apology to Colin Kaepernick over social media on Saturday for her 2017 remarks where she criticized him for kneeling during the national anthem.

Kelly Stafford announced on Instagram that she and her husband donated $35,000 to the University of Georgia, their alma mater, to help fund a social justice program. In the same post she offered an apology to the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback for attacking his protests back in 2017.

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“When Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem, I had strong feelings about it. Even when he kept saying it had nothing to do with the flag or military, I didn’t listen. I kept not listening to him or anyone else and let the political rhetoric persuade me that him kneeling was disrespectful to our military,” her post read.

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“Over the past several months, I have opened my ears, mind, and heart and it has opened my eyes to see how wrong I was and for that I am sorry.”

At the time, Kelly wrote that the anthem was not “the national racists song,” according to the New York Daily News. “I believe we can stand and show our unity against everything that doesn’t represent what this flag stands for.”

Renewed protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death have prompted many, just like Kelly, to apologize for their initial response to Kaepernick’s protest which began in 2016.

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“This systematic racism is not going away unless we ALL work on it by working on ourselves and those around us,” she said on Saturday. “It’s time for everyone to do their part to help end this system.”