Colin Kaepernick may have lost his starting job to Blaine Gabbert, but he remains in the news because he continues to take a knee during the national anthem to protest social inequality. That was the case before Sunday’s game in Charlotte against the Panthers, where Kaepernick found an unlikely ally.

Jesse McGuire, who played the “Star-Spangled Banner” on his trumpet prior to kickoff at Bank of America Stadium, supports Kaepernick’s decision to kneel.

“I absolutely and totally respect his right to protest,” McGuire, 58, told the Charlotte Observer. “That’s a constitutional right, and anybody trying to take that away from him is trying to violate his constitutional rights.”

“In terms of this stance for the violence,” McGuire continued, “that’s happening all over the world — and to black males especially — I understand and I applaud his stance. … Whether I disagree or not is of no consequence whatsoever. To protest means that you are going to make waves; so if that is the case, and if that’s the definition of a protest, then the desired result of his mission is accomplished.”

Interestingly, the media attention has waned as Kaepernick’s protest continues; following Sunday’s loss to the Panthers, only one reporter asked him any questions.

Meanwhile, fan interest continues to grow; the Observer reports that as Kaepernick made his way to the team bus “several fans clamored for his attention [and] his was also arguably the most popular jersey on the visiting team’s fans backs outside the stadium.”

So will Kaepernick continue to protest?

“I really can’t say at this point,” he said, ” ’cause it’ll depend on actions taken throughout this season. A lot of things need to be addressed, and a lot of things need to be changed. Whether they can happen during this season or not, time will tell.”

Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Panthers’ national anthem performer supports Colin Kaepernick’s right to protest