Ever since Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest before a preseason game on Aug. 26, several other NFL players and major sports stars have mirrored that protest.

These protests have helped bring to light the level of frustration many Americans feel with regards to the various types and degrees of injustice suffered by certain demographic groups, particularly minorities.

Thus far, Kaepernick– the San Francisco 49ers’ backup quarterback– has been joined by teammate Eric Reid, Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, some of the Miami Dolphins players, as well as U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe, in his protest, among others.

And yet, since that day Kaepernick expressed his discontent by refusing to stand for the national anthem, there have been nearly 250 Major League Baseball games played, and not a single player has taken a stand by taking a knee.

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Ironically enough, baseball is the sport that first launched the civil rights movement when Jackie Robinson integrated the game of baseball on April 15, 1947, thus finally breaking the race barrier.

One can’t help but wonder, given the history of the sport, why this type of protest hasn’t been displayed by any players that participate in it. Is it perhaps because baseball is considered so quintessentially American, to the point of being so emblematic of our country that, almost like a religion, it would be considered utter blasphemy to not stand for the flag and anthem?

Baltimore Orioles All-Star center fielder Adam Jones presented his view on why this is.

“We already have two strikes against us already,’’ Jones told USA TODAY Sports, “so you might as well not kick yourself out of the game. In football, you can’t kick them out. You need those players. In baseball, they don’t need us.

“Baseball is a white man’s sport.’’

Indeed, African-Americans make up 68% of the player population in the NFL, and 74% in the NBA. That number is just 8% in baseball, with only 69 African-Americans on the opening-day rosters and disabled lists this season.

Of course, there have been several non-white players in MLB over the years, namely Hispanics (Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, etc.) and Asians (Japanese, Filipino, etc.).

However, the national anthem protest primarily appears to be more of a way to keep spreading the anger over the treatment of black people, something that spurred the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement at the end of 2014, which meant to call attention to the dozens of cases of police brutality toward unarmed black Americans. Kaepernick, who is of mixed race (black and white), was likely speaking to this when said “the oppression of black people and people of color.”

Jones, 31, one of the most outspoken and passionate African-American players in baseball, certainly empathizes with the injustices that minorities face every day in this country. He has seen and heard of too many incidents of police violence that have unjustly targeted minorities in his own city, and played a crucial role in the aftermath of protests that came after the death in police custody of Freddie Gray, a series of events that prompted the Orioles to play a game in 2015 in front of an empty stadium.

Jones is hoping for change as well, but Sunday, just like every other day, he stood at attention during the national anthem before Baltimore’s game against the Detroit Tigers, with his right hand over his heart.

“He believes in what he believes in,’’ Jones says of Kaepernick, “and as a man of faith, as an American who has rights, who am I to say he’s wrong?

“Kaepernick is not disrespecting the military. He’s not disrespecting people who they’re fighting. What he’s doing is showing that he doesn’t like the social injustice that the flag represents.

“Look, I know a lot of people who don’t even know the words to the national anthem. You know how many times I see people stand up for the national anthem and not pay attention. They stand because they’re told to stand.

“That’s the problem. Just don’t do something because you’re told to do something. Do it because you understand the meaning behind it and the sacrifice behind it.’’

Jones, who was honored last week by receiving the Orioles’ nomination for the prestigious Roberto Clemente award for his community involvement, philanthropy and contributions, may have chosen a different way to express his views about racial inequality in this country. Yet, he remains vehemently upset with the harsh way Kaepernick has been criticized by his dissenters.

“I’ve seen Kaepernick called the N-word,’’ Jones said, “just because he’s being sensitive to what has happened to African-Americans in this country. It’s crazy how when people of color speak up, we’re always ridiculed. But when people that are not of color speak up, it’s their right.

“The First Amendment says we have freedom of expression. We’re supposed to be so free, so free. But any time anybody of color speaks up in the United States, for some odd reason, they always get the raw end of the deal. It sucks.”

Jones continued: “At the end of the day, black men have fought for this right. Indians have fought for this right. White people fought for this right. Mexicans have fought for this right. Japanese have fought this for this right. The United States was not just made up of one race.

“So let’s just not say that in America, only one person can say something. We all have input because America has always been a country that has united everybody.’’

Also part of the problem, according to Jones, is that most fans don’t want to hear athletes share their opinions outside the sports world. Many sports fans believe they should just stick to what they do and not get involved in politics, religion, race, or anything that could even be remotely considered controversial.

“The outside world doesn’t really respect athletes,’’ Jones says, “unless they talk about what they want them to talk about. Society doesn’t think we deserve the right to have an opinion on social issues.

“We make a lot of money, so we just have to talk baseball, talk football. But most athletes, especially if you’re tenured in your sport, you’re educated on life, and on more things than most people on the outside. But because Donald Trump is a billionaire, he can say whatever he wants, because he’s older and has more money?

“And when Kaepernick does something, or says something, he’s ridiculed. Why is that? ’’

In the final three weeks of the regular season, during the postseason, or perhaps even on the national stage of the World Series, we’ll have to wait and see if an MLB player decides to take a stand in any way.

“No one has done it, yet,’’ Jones says. “But that’s the key word here: Yet.

“We will see.’’

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – SEPTEMBER 6: Adam Jones #10 of the Baltimore Orioles reacts after striking out swinging to pitcher Erasmo Ramirez of the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning of a game on September 6, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

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