The football season officially began this weekend, and Colin Kaepernick still isn’t backing down.
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who has been sitting (and more recently, kneeling) in protest during the National Anthem since this year’s preseason games, has taken his statement to the national spotlight of Monday Night Football.
On Monday night’s season opener against the Los Angeles Rams, Kaepernick knelt once again during the anthem, and was joined by several fellow teammates and opponents in his protest against police brutality and unjust treatment of the black community in the United States.
Kaepernick and 49ers safety Eric Reid knelt side-by-side during the anthem, and two other teammates, Antoine Bethea and Eli Harold, raised their fists in support.
In a press conference back in August, Kaepernick said, “When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”
While he remains committed to his protest, his actions seem to be inspiring other NFL players to take action. On the opposing sideline on Monday, Los Angeles Rams players Kenny Britt and Robert Quinn were also seen raising their fists in support.
Britt is no stranger to peaceful protesting, as he and four other Rams took part in a “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” protest back in November 2014 to protest a Missouri grand jury that decided not to issue charges against police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in August 2014.
Kaepernick’s protest has received support from other NFL players over the past few weeks, including Jeremy Lane and the Seattle Seahawks, Marcus Peters of the Kansas City Chiefs, several Dolphins players Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas, Arian Foster and Jelani Jenkins and Devin McCourty and Martellus Bennett of the New England Patriots.
Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall also knelt during Thursday night’s nationally televised season opener against the Carolina Panthers, and has reportedly lost several endorsements for partaking in the protest.