NFL responds to Colin Kaepernick sitting down during National Anthem

- Following the 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decision to remain seated during the National Anthem before Friday's preseason game, the NFL has released a statement appearing to show he will not receive a punishment. 

According to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, "players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem".

Many current and former athletes took to Twitter to state their opinions:





Kapernick said, He stated, "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 added, "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 is not the first U.S.-based athlete to use the anthem for protest. In 1996, NBA player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf refused to stand for the anthem, saying the United States had a history of tyranny and doing so would conflict with his Islamist beliefs. The NBA initially suspended Abdul-Rauf for his stance before it was lifted when he said he would stand and pray silently during the song.
Kaepernick said he is not worried about any potential fallout from his protest.
 "This is not something that I am going to run by anybody," he told NFL Media. "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."
Kaepernick's agent did not immediately return a request for comment. 
Kaepernick is in competition to win back the starting quarterback job in San Francisco that he lost to Blaine Gabbert last season. He made his first appearance of the preseason on Friday night after missing two games with a tired shoulder. He finished 2 for 6 for 14 yards and added 18 yards on four runs.
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