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Sporting protests: Colin Kaepernick's stand is far from the first

Euan McKirdy | 9/6/2016, noon
From the howls of outrage emanating from some corners of the Twittersphere, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Colin Kaepernick's ...
NFL star Colin Kapernick says he would not honor a song nor "show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."

"Change starts with us. Justice & accountability," the front of the shirts said. On the back, the T-shirts showed the names of Sterling and Castile. They also displayed the Dallas Police Department emblem and the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

The move prompted several off-duty cops who were providing security for the Lynx game to walk off the job.

Feyisa Lilesa

Ethiopia's Feyisa Lilesa crossed his arms at the finish line of the men's marathon event at the Rio Olympics last month as a protest against the Ethiopian government's crackdown on political dissent.

Striding across the finish line with his arms crossed over his head in a sign of solidarity for the Oromo people, his native group and the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, after the race he said he wanted to draw attention to the government's ongoing persecution of the group.

By speaking out, Lilesa said, he put himself into such danger that he couldn't go home after the Games. "I really think that I would be killed," he said -- or imprisoned. Some of his family members are already in prison, he said, and he worries about the safety of his wife and two children.

2013-14 LA Clippers

After racist comments surfaced that were attributed to then-Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the team staged a silent protest. While warming up for an NBA playoff game, the players removed their warm-up shirts bearing team logos to reveal red T-shirts worn inside out, with the logos hidden. They finished warming up, removed the red shirts and played the game wearing their regular uniforms.

The comments came from recordings of Sterling talking to his then-girlfriend, V. Stiviano, and appeared to reflect Sterling's embarrassment and frustration with Stiviano over her associating with African-Americans at Clippers games and for posting such pictures on her Instagram account.

Tatyana Firova and Kseniya Ryzhova

The Russian duo kissed each other after winning the women's 4x400-meter relay final at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, coming at a highly charged moment for gay rights in Russia, which had recently implemented an anti-gay propaganda law.

The law, which bars the public discussion of gay rights and relationships anywhere children might hear, at the time led to calls to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Was it just a celebratory kiss? Or was it a political statement?

The athletes remained tight-lipped.

Carlos Delgado

Beginning in the 2004 season Toronto first baseman Carlos Delgado decided to no longer stand for "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch of Major League Baseball games. His silent protest went virtually unnoticed until he talked to the media about it in the middle of the season.

Delgado said he was protesting the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. "I don't (stand) because I don't believe it's right," Delgado told the Toronto Star in 2004. "I don't believe in the war."

When he started playing for the New York Mets in 2006, Delgado agreed to join his teammates and stand for the song.