Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started a movement by refusing to stand during the national anthem before games in 2016 to protest social injustice.
Kaepernick hasn’t been able to land an NFL job since that season, but a cheerleader from his former team appears to be helping to keep the movement alive.
Here’s some shots taken during the playing of the anthem before this week’s “Thursday Night Football” game between the 49ers and Oakland Raiders in Santa Clara.
The woman kneeling in the endzone as her fellow cheerleaders stand at attention has yet to be identified. She is thought to be the first NFL cheerleader to protest in such a manner during the anthem.
Back in May, the NFL passed a rule stating that players or personnel on the field are required stand “and show respect for the flag and the anthem.” Those who chose not to were required to remain in the locker room.
Two months later, however, the league and the NFL Players Assn. announced that plan had been put on hold.
The 49ers have not commented on the cheerleader’s action.
Lenny Herrold, a Raiders fan who shot one of the photos and tweeted it out from his @GatorLenny Twitter account, said the reactions he’s received have been mixed.
“It’s interesting because some people think she’s really awesome and other people are like, you should fire her,” he told TV station KPIX.
He added: “I just thought it was peaceful, respectful, constitutionally protected free speech.”