Kaepernick takes a knee at SD game during anthem


Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, of the 49ers, sat down during the playing of the national anthem before the pre-season game against the Chargers on Sept. 1 at Qualcomm Stadium. Photo by Gabe Rivera

By Gabe Rivera

As the San Diego hosted San Francisco for the final preseason game of the year Thursday night at Qualcomm Stadium, all eyes were on 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick has received criticism for his decision to protest police brutality and social inequalities by not standing for the national anthem before the start of games. He had said that he would continue his protest for the remainder of the season until a change comes in the country.

The quaterback was welcomed to Qualcomm by San Diegans with a resounding boo. Instead of sitting down, this time he took a knee and was joined by a fellow 49er, starting safety Eric Reid, who also took a knee during the anthem.

The heckling lasted throughout the first half and every time Kaepernick touched the football he was met with a sea of boo birds.

As the controversy built in recent days, many people said they felt that he is disrespecting the flag and the men and women of the military that fight for American freedoms. Others said they felt that it is exactly what Kaepernick is doing which the military fights for, like the right to peaceful protest.

Kaepernick rebutted by letting people know that he was not taking a stand against the military, but rather he was standing up for African-Americans and other minorities to give them a voice and platform that otherwise could not be reached.

In Thursday night’s game, the quarterback cheered and clapped for veterans who were being recognized in the crowd.

The quarterback’s protest appeared to be spreading. Other players from other teams were spotted Thursday night  possibly joining the protest. Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane sat in their game against the Raiders throughout the singing of the anthem.

Meanwhile, the 49ers beat the Chargers, 31-21. The Chargers ended the exhibition season 1-3. They begin the regular season Sept. 11 on the road in Kansas City against the Chiefs.