SANTA CLARA (KRON)—Some 49ers fans took to burning jerseys Saturday after confirmation that 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem Friday night in Santa Clara.
All preseason long he has chosen to sit during the anthem.
In a picture taken by Jennifer Lee Chan with Niner Nation, you can see Kaepernick on the sideline sitting during the anthem.
In an interview with NFL media, Kaepernick said “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
He went on to say “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.”
In a statement, NFL officials said “Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem.”
49ers coach Chip Kelly held a conference call and addressed the issue.
“He did the same thing in the Denver game, so we recognize his right to express his feelings,” Kelly said. “Does this have any impact on the football side?! No. It does not. We recognize his right to do that. It’s not my right to tell him not to do something. That’s his right as a citizen.”
KRON4’s Ella Sogomonian spoke with fans.
Mixed reactions from football fans outside Levi’s Stadium where there are signs plastered that read “49ers faithful since ’46.”
But now some fans are now questioning how faithful Colin Kaepernick is to America.
Some told me they’re happy to see an athlete use his platform to raise concerns of racial injustice while most feel although Kaepernick has a right to his opinion – this wasn’t the way to do it.
49ers fans across America have taken to YouTube to post videos burning quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s jersey in protest of his actions or lack there of when Friday night he chose to remain seated for the national anthem.
“I’ve lost all respect,” one 49ers fan said. “I was rooting for the guy to have a great comeback.”
“That’s pretty extreme to me,” one man said. “That’s pretty harsh. You shouldn’t burn a jersey.”
Football fans say Kaepernick should have stood for the time honored tradition.
“You’re in a country that’s blessed you,” one Niners fan said. “Respect it.”
In an interview, the athlete explained his decision reflected concern for racial inequality in America.
“Nothing is perfect and we got some work to do, but I think it could have been a better time,” Kaepernick said.
One 49ers fan we spoke to did not like Kapernick’s reasoning.
“I don’t know if doing it during the national anthem is a time to show your support for what you believe in.”
In a phone conference, 49ers Coach Chip Kelly said all players are entitled to their own opinions.
“We recognize his rights as a citizen to express his views.” Kelly said.
Coach Kelly went on to say the league encourages players to stand for the anthem, but it is not a requirement.