Colin Kaepernick doesn't stand for national anthem


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Colin Kaepernick, who has been mired in a quarterback controversy with Blaine Gabbert to see who will lead the 49ers this season, may have sparked a real controversy Friday night.

Kaepernick did not stand for the national anthem before the 49ers preseason game

at Levi's Stadium, although the move went unnoticed by most at the time. reported the story more than an hour after the game, and no reporters asked Kaepernick about it following the 49ers 21-10 loss to the Packers.

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Kaepernick explained his stance during an interview with "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 said after the game. "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."

But Kaepernick's action prompted the 49ers to issue a statement acknowledging that he sat during the anthem, and defending his right to do so.

“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony," reads the statement. "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 to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”

MORE: Why Kaepernick took a stand

That stance will not sit well with many fans, however, and Kaepernick is sure to hear the boos in opposing stadiums as the media shines the spotlight on his decision. Was Kaepernick, who has been outspoken on his Twitter account about racial issues in the U.S., making a political statement? Expect to hear much more on this story in the coming days.

By the way, neither Kaepernick nor Gabbert did anything to win the starter's role Friday night, each finishing with 14 yards passing.