The NFL on Saturday reacted to Colin Kaepernick’s decision to do a Civil rights statement by sitting during the play of the Star-Spangled Banner.

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“Players are encouraged but not compelled to stand during the play of the national Anthem,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy created in a statement to CSNBayArea.com.

Kaepernick took a seat on the 49ers" bench close to midfield ~ above Friday night as the national anthem to be played before the team"s exhibition game against the environment-friendly Bay Packers. A source said Kaepernick likewise did no stand throughout the anthem prior to the 49ers’ video game at Denver last Saturday. Kaepernick was in street garments for the 49ers’ first two exhibition games.

Kaepernick explained his stance in one interview through Steve Wyche that NFL Media.

"I am not going to stand up to display pride in a flag because that a nation that oppresses black color people and people the color," Kaepernick said. "To me, this is bigger 보다 football and also it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There space bodies in the street and also people getting paid leave and also getting away through murder."

Kaepernick added: "This is not something that ns am walk to run by anybody. I am not searching for approval. I need to stand up for human being that are oppressed. ... If they take it football away, my endorsements indigenous me, I understand that ns stood up because that what is right."

Late Friday night, the 49ers exit a statement around Kaeepernick’s protest:

“The national anthem is and always will it is in a special component of the pre-game ceremony. That is an chance to honor our country and reflect ~ above the good liberties we space afforded together its citizens. In respecting together American ethics as liberty of religion and also freedom of expression, we acknowledge the appropriate of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration the the nationwide anthem.”

All indications room that Kaepernick’s protest will have actually no bearing ~ above his roster spot. He has remained in competition with Blaine Gabbert because that the starting job. The 49ers’ final exhibition video game is collection for Thursday at mountain Diego.

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Gabbert is the overwhelming favorite to be chosen by coach Chip Kelly as the 49ers’ starting quarterback to open up the continuous season. Kaepernick’s scheduled salary that $11.9 million because that the upcoming season is completely guaranteed.