Take a knee: Cheerleader mimics Colin Kaepernick’s protest at 49ers game (PHOTOS)
A San Francisco 49ers cheerleader appeared to take a knee during the national anthem at an NFL game on Thursday, reviving former quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s divisive public stand against racial inequality and police brutality.
Kaepernick made international news in 2016, when he first began kneeling for the national anthem before NFL games. “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 at the time.
Now, it seems a cheerleader for his former team has taken inspiration from the polarizing anthem protest. Photos taken before a game, between the 49ers and the Oakland Raiders, appear to show one cheerleader crouching down as her colleagues stand to attention.
NBC Bay Area journalist Damian Trujillo said the woman took a knee as the national anthem was played throughout the Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco. It appears be the first time a cheerleader at an NFL fixture has taken the stance.
One of the Niners cheerleaders is taking a knee. pic.twitter.com/DW5SJqh9zj— 2004 never happened (@GatorLenny) November 2, 2018
Kaepernick is credited with starting a wave of protest that saw some NFL players booed for participating in the demonstration.
US President Donald Trump was vocal in his opposition to people supporting Kaepernick’s anthem protest. Trump suggested players taking a knee should be punished with suspension or a fine.
The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again - can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2018
The NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations. The only way out for them is to set a rule that you can't kneel during our National Anthem!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
In a tweet last August, Trump also suggested that player did not understand the reasons for their own protest.
“The NFL players are at it again - taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their ‘outrage’ at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love,” he said.
The NFL players are at it again - taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their “outrage” at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
No longer employed by a football team, Kaepernick is now a brand ambassador for sports giant Nike. He is taking a case against the NFL for, what he believes was, collusion among teams to deny him a new contract in 2017. The NFL has denied the claims and asked that the legal case be thrown out.
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