Colin Kaepernick continues to not stand during the national anthem.
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback knelt during the national anthem before an exhibition game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on Thursday. Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Powell sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” as 240 military officers held the nation’s flag on a night when the home team hosted the 28th annual Salute to the Military night.
And Kaepernick, 28, was not alone this time in his protest. Teammate Eric Reid also dropped to a knee. That same night, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane refused to stand during the national anthem before his game against the Oakland Raiders.
Fans booed Kaepernick before Powell took the mic and the star athlete was met with more heckling every time he touched the ball in the game. Though there were also some cheers for him in the wake of #VeteransForKaepernick, a social media trend that started after military veterans defended Kaepernick’s actions.
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The star athlete’s controversial decision to take a stand by not standing has become headline-grabbing news since Aug. 26 when he first remained seated before his game against the Green Bay Packers.
And Kaepernick is not backing down. “I’ll continue to sit. I’m gonna continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed,” he said Sunday. “To me, this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent and this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”
He also told reporters he will refuse to stand until there is a “significant change” in the oppression of people due to their race in the United States.
Hours before Thursday’s game, Kaepernick addressed another hot-topic issue regarding a pair of his socks with cartoon pigs in police hats, which he’s been photographed wearing for several practice games.
“I wore these socks, in the past, because the rogue cops that are allowed to hold positions in police departments, not only put the community in danger, but also put the cops that have the right intentions in danger by creating an environment of tension and mistrust,” he addressed on Instagram.