Colin Kaepernick made his first start for the San Francisco 49ers during Week against the Buffalo Bulls on Sunday. However, Kaepernick was greeted with a barrage of boos.
Just before Kaepernick knelt for the national anthem, fans at the New Era Field started a loud chant of ‘USA, USA’ and continued to boo the quarterback for most of the game.
For many Americans, Kaepernick has become an enemy due to his persistence to not stand during the national anthem, a symbolic protest against the violence faced by African Americans.
Even though Kaepernick maintains that he is protesting racial inequality, many feel he’s disrespecting the nation.
After the game, which the Niners lost 45-16, Kaepernick was asked about the reaction of the hostile crowd.
“I don’t understand what’s un-American about fighting for liberty and justice for everybody, for the equality this country says it stands for,” said the quarterback.
“To me, I see it as very patriotic and American to uphold the United States to the standards that it says it lives by,” added Kaepernick.
Colin Kaepernick gets more support…
The 49ers organization and the NFL have decided to respect Kaepernick’s peaceful protest. And some of his teammates, too, have joined him in the symbolic protest.
On Sunday, Kaepernick was once again joined by linebacker Eli Harold and safety Eric Reid, who too knelt during the national anthem.
Despite support from teammates and authorities, fans were clearly ticked off.
In fact, one fan had reportedly thrown a bottle towards Kaepernick, according to another fan who tweeted from the stadium.
However, Kaepernick didn’t notice. “If they did (throw a bottle), they didn’t have very good aim,” chuckled Kaepernick.
“But I had some Bills fans before the game come up and say they are supporting me, so I think it all depends on who the person is. At the end of the day, I’m going to continue to fight for what I’m fighting for,” he added.
Despite San Francisco’s loss, Colin Kaepernick had a decent outing, finishing 13 of 29 for 187 yards and 1 TD, besides rushing for 66 yards on eight carries.
After the game, Niners coach Chip Kelly praised Kaepernick’s performance and hinted that the QB would continue to start in Week 9 when the team faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a home game.