Colin Kaepernick was expected to sit again for Thursday’s national anthem. Instead, he took a knee during the national anthem before the 49ers‘ final preseason game against the Chargers. This time, he wasn’t alone in his protest against racial injustice.
Kaepernick was joined by safety Eric Reid. Both players took a knee for the anthem, which was sung by Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Powell from the U.S. Navy on the Chargers’ “Salute to The Military” night.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch, Kaepernick and Reid hugged after the anthem. The Mercury News’ Cam Inman reported that a few other teammates and Nate Boyer, a Green Beret, hugged him too.
Reid’s support shouldn’t come as a surprise. After Kaepernick’s protest made headlines a week ago, he held a players-only meeting to explain his stance. Kaepernick left that meeting with the support of many of his teammates. Kaepernick then explained his protest to reporters and added that he’d continue to sit until meaningful change occurs.
“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. “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.”
Source: CBS Sports / LOOK: One of Kaepernick’s teammates joins him in sitting for national anthem