Santa Clara, CA (KTVU) - In a lengthy question and answer session with reporters Sunday, 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick explained why he didn't stand for the national anthem on and why doesn't plan on standing in the future.
Kaepernick stayed seated while the national anthem played during Friday's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, setting off a firestorm of criticism on social media.
On Sunday, Kaepernick wasn't apologetic as he explained his reasoning to reporters. "There's people being murdered unjustly and not being held accountable," Kaepernick said referring to police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“This stand wasn’t for me," he said. "This is because I’m seeing things happen to people that don’t have a voice. People that don’t have a platform to talk and have their voices heard and affect change. I’m in a position where I can do that, and I’m gonna do that for people who can’t.”
Kaepernick spoke at length to reporters, spending nearly 20 minutes answering questions that ranged from whether he had been profiled by police - He says yes. To if he thought his actions would be a distraction for the team.
“I don’t see it as a distraction. I think it’s something that can unify this team and something unify this country. If we have these conversations, there’s a better understanding of where both sides are coming from. And if we can reach common ground and can understand what everyone is going through, we can really can effect change and make sure everyone is treated equally and has the same freedom.”
On Saturday, many people expressed anger over Kaepernick's actions, calling it disrespectful to members of the military. One 49ers fan even filmed himself burning Kaepernick's jersey.
"I have great respect for the men and women who have fought for this country," Kaepernick responded. "I have family and friends who have fought for this country. They fight for freedom, they fight for liberty and justice for everyone. And that's not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn't holding its end of the bargain up."
Kaepernick said he plans on staying seating during the national anthem.
"I'll continue to stand with the people who are being oppressed. To me this is something that has to change. When I feel like there's significant change and that flag represents what it's supposed to represent...I'll stand."