SAN DIEGO — San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat in protest during the national anthem — but then stood during God Bless America in the fourth quarter of the Chargers-49ers game on Thursday night.
Kaepernick had continued his protest against the Star-Spangled Banner just before the start of the game at Qualcomm Stadium — on a night dedicated to honoring members of the U.S. military.
He has been sitting during the national anthem at football games throughout the National Football League preseason. He told reporters last Sunday that his decision to sit is a protest against “police brutality” and the targeting of “people of color” by law enforcement, and that the flag and country no longer represents what “it’s supposed to.”
The 49ers quarterback, who wears #7, was also photographed a practice earlier in the summer while wearing socks that depicted police officers as pigs.
Kaepernick continued his refuse to stand for the National Anthem and flag in protest just before the game started.
Kaepernick remains standing for recitation of God Bless America and claps at conclusion…after not standing for #NationalAnthem
— Michelle Moons (@MichelleDiana) September 2, 2016
Cameras surrounded Kaepernick at the start of the game to capture his protest. But during the second half of the game, which was billed as the Chargers’ 28th Annual Salute to the Military, Petty officer First Class Steven Powell sang God Bless America — and Kaepernick remained standing, clapping at the conclusion of the patriotic song.
Kaepernick posted a controversial statement to Instagram last July, accompanying video of Alton Sterling being shot by police in Louisiana. Sterling had been armed at the time. Kaepernick wrote: “This is what lynchings look like in 2016!”
Last Sundaym Kaepernick told reporters he will continue to sit until he feels the issue of police brutality, which is at the core of the Black Lives Matter movement, had been addressed. “When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”
U.S. Navy veteran J.D. Mccallum brought a protest sign and told Breitbart News that he was staging his first protest ever, attending Thursday night’s game specifically to push back against what he called Kaepernick’s disrespect for the military and all that America’s veterans have fought for over the years.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana