San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Refused to Stand for National Anthem

Colin Kapernick is the Quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. During their first game of the season, against the Green Bay Packers, he decided to make a stand by not standing during the National Anthem.

While teammates, opponents and thousands of fans all stood for the "Star Spangled Banner," Kapernick was noticeable still sitting on his team's bench. According to US Weekly, in an after game interview, he took the time to explain why he stayed seated.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," he explained. "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."

Despite his having the right to refuse to stand during the song, the internet is not happy with his choice. Many people took to social media to criticize the football player's choice. Quite a few turned the conversation to the amount of money Kapernick makes and how he could use that to actually help people.

"Disrespectful. Be a part of the solution, not the problem. Use you 100M to make positive change, not further divide." One person tweeted. Another wrote "How can a football player make millions of $ in America, but can't honor the flag that gave him those millions?"

As for the NFL and the 49ers, both said that it is up to the players as to whether or not they choose to stand during the National Anthem. The team itself said that as part of "American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem," though they emphasize that they will continue to play the anthem at games.

Kapernick stands by his choice saying, "I have to stand up for people that are oppressed… I am not looking for approval."