The QB, speaking after the game about his decision not to stand and show respect like the rest of the stadium, informed reporters why he chose to sit this one out (below):
"I am not going 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."
Kaepernick, who is outspoken about social justice issues, didn't shy away from his decision, either.
When asked about planning this, and whether he had considered how it might impact his career, the quarterback said:
"This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. If they take football away, my endorsements from me – I know that I stood up for what is right."
His team, the 49ers, also released their own statement about the situation, telling ESPN:
"The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pregame 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."
Apparently, Kaepernick had not stood for any of the previous preseason games in San Francisco this year, though it was only just noticed now because thi sis the first game where he'd been in uniform after previously recovering from a shoulder surgery.