On Friday night, Colin Kaepernick chose not to stand during the national anthem.
By Saturday morning, he was at the center of what looks like will be a growing controversy throughout the weekend.
Oh, @Kaepernick7...I get things are a lil crazy right now, but please, please don't forget the opportunities our country has given you. — Keri Lee (@Keri__Lee) August 27, 2016
Those messages are but a sample of the reactions Kaepernick is attracting this Saturday morning, as word began to spread through many different reports that the San Francisco quarterback sat down during the anthem that proceeded the 49ers preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.
In the photo below, the 28-year-old could be seen remaining on the bench as the rest of his teammates stand.
Predictably, his decision to sit out the anthem has attracted a lot of criticism online.
For their part, the 49ers released a statement.
The team's statement read,
The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. 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.
And interestingly, there were many messages left to Kaepernick on Twitter that contrasted the criticism he received.
Regardless of which side fans have taken on this issue, you might have noticed a common theme.
Many reactions alluded to Kaepernick's past statements on social media, where the quarterback is known to speak out on national issues, particularly those pertaining to race.
And as some might have expected, his explanation falls in with the opinions he has projected through his social accounts.
I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. 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.
The league has not issued a statement on the matter.
Citations: Pro Football Talk