SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Many football fans are in an uproar after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the playing of the national anthem in their game against the Green Bay Packers on Friday.
By sitting down, he says he is standing up for the people oppressed because of their race.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said, according to NFL.com. “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.”
But the decision, which many have deemed as disrespectful, is not against the league’s rules.
“Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem, NFL insider Ian Rapoport said in a tweet on Saturday.
.@NFL comment on Kaepernick's anthem stance: "Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the National Anthem."
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 27, 2016
Kaepernick said that he will continue to sit during the national anthem and that he’s not “looking for approval” on the matter.
The former Super Bowl starting quarterback’s twitter feed is full of civil rights-related tweets, with no mention of the recent controversy.
Aside from Kaepernick, the entire 49ers staff have stood for the national anthem so far during the preseason.