San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick chose not to stand for the national anthem during a preseason game Friday night in Santa Clara.
Kaepernick told NFL Media that he refused 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. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder,” he is quoted as saying.
The 49ers issued this statement about Kaepernick’s decision:
"The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem."