San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick caused an uproar when he failed to stand during the national anthem during a preseason game. Kaepernick, who is one of the quarterbacks for the 49ers, said he decided not to stand for the anthem because to do so would be unconscionable in the wake of what he perceives as social injustices going on all around us.

“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 National Football League Media. “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.”

Kaepernick hasn’t stood for the national anthem for any preseason games. His protest went unnoticed until a recent preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, according to CNN.

Kapernick’s decision has people divided. His organization seems to be in his corner. In a statement, the 49ers said they respect Kaepernick’s right to protest.

“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony," the statement said according to NFL Media. "It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such 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."
Others feel that Kapernick’s protest is an affront to the nation and everything for which it stands. Presidential candidate Donald Trump said on a Seattle radio program that Kaepernick should leave the country if he’s not happy living here. Former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said while he respected the motivation for Kaepernick’s protest, he didn't support the method of action. Even his birth mother, Heidi Russo, chimed in saying that Kaepernick should have chosen a different way to protest.

Russo, who is white, gave Kaepernick, who is biracial, up for adoption when he was an infant.

She tweeted, "@Kaepernick7 There's ways to make change w/o disrespecting & bringing shame to the very country & family who afforded you so many blessings.”
Kaepernick has said of the controversy that he doesn’t care who is in his corner. He will continue his silent protest.

"This is not something that I am going to run by anybody," he said, according to CNN. "I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. ... If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right."