Colin Kaepernick remained seated during the playing of the national anthem before Friday night’s preseason game against Green Bay, the San Francisco 49ers have confirmed.
In a statement to Pro Football Talk, the team said:
“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 to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
Kaepernick’s reason for not standing up for the anthem is not yet known. His Twitter account has turned extremely political in recent weeks, with a focus on white supremacy and the police. No reporters asked him about it following the game, but it’s a safe bet the story will turn into a major, divisive issue.
Kaepernick is battling with Blaine Gabbert for the starting job. Neither has set the earth on fire during the preseason. Whether or not you believe Kaepernick’s apparent show of protest has merit, there’s no denying that it will make it harder for Chip Kelly to give him the nod under center.