Jamal Bryant's AME Church Joins Colin Kaepernick's Protest by Sitting During National Anthem

Rev. Jamal Bryant speaks to attendees during a rally protesting the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin in Miami, Florida, April 1, 2012. | (Photo: Reuters/Brian Blanco)

Pastor Jamal Bryant is going above and beyond to show his support for NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick by not only wearing his jersey during a sermon on Sunday, but also by encouraging his entire congregation to remain seated during the national anthem.

Bryant, the pastor of Empowerment Temple AME Church in Baltimore, Maryland, said yesterday that he approves of the San Francisco 49ers' backup quarterback's protest after he announced two weeks ago that he plans to sit during every performance of "The Star Spangled Banner" at NFL games to represent "people that are being oppressed."

On Sunday, Bryant shared a photo of himself wearing Kaepernick's jersey on Instagram before revaling that he and his congregation would be joining the professional athlete's protest by sitting down while the national anthem was played during the service.

During his sermon, Bryant asserted that if Kaepernick, a biracial man, could stand up against injustices done to black people, then his congregation, the majority of whom are black, should do the same.

"I want to do something for our dear brother and let him know that while only two brothers in the whole league will sit with him today, I want to let him know that there's a conscientious black church in Baltimore that got his back," Bryant said in an act of protest that was streamed on Periscope and uploaded to YouTube.

Before calling on the congregation to remain seated for the famed Whitney Houston rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" that she sang at the 1991 Super Bowl, Bryant honored the veterans in his church by asking them to come to the altar during the protest as members clapped for them to show their appreciation for their service to the country.

"We appreciate all of the veterans who have given up so much so that America could be a better place," Bryant said before the congregation held their fists up while seated during the national anthem.

Following the church service, Bryant took to Instagram to share the experience, calling it "amazing."

"Today was amazing ... preached in my frat brother #kaepernick signed jersey and the entire church sat during 'Star Spangled Banner' with raised fist," he wrote on Instagram.

Bryant's support for the NFL player comes after Kaepernick told the world that he planned to sit down during every performance of the national anthem as an act of protest.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way," Kaepernick told Nthe NFL. "There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. ... If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right."

When asked if presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had anything to do with his protest, Kaepernick said he felt they were a big problem with the nation.

"I mean, you have Hillary [Clinton] who's called black teens or black kids super-predators. You have Donald Trump who's openly racist," he told reporters. "I mean, we have a presidential candidate who's deleted emails and done things illegally and is a presidential candidate. That doesn't make sense to me, because if that was any other person, you'd be in prison. So what is this country really standing for?"

The biracial quarterback who was adopted into a white family has also been vocal about his Christian faith. He bears a tattoo of Psalm 18:39 on his throwing shoulder that reads: "You arm me with strength for battle."

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