Eric Reid and Jeremy Lane have joined Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem protest


Seattles Jeremy Lane sitting and 49ers Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the National Anthem on Thursday.
Image: MASHABLE COMPOSITE: Tony Avelar/AP Images AND Chris Carlson/AP Images

Colin Kaepernick’s protest is receiving support from fellow football players.

As the National Anthem played before Thursday night’s various preseason games, Kaepernick was joined by 49ers teammate Eric Reid and Seattle Sewahwaks’ Jeremy Lane who both chose not to stand in support of Kaepernick’s stance against police brutality and unjust treatment of the black community in the United States.

Kaepernick and Reid both knelt during San Francisco’s final preseason game against the Chargers, which was the 28th Annual Salute to the Military.

The decision not to stand during a game that pays “tribute to hundreds of thousands of current and retired military personnel who live and work in San Diego” was especially bold, considering the amount of backlash the quarterback received from those who feel his protest is disrespectful to those who fight to protect our country.

Earlier this week, veterans began speaking out about Colin Kaepernick’s actions on Twitter, showing support for the peaceful protest with #VeteransForKaepernick, and Kaepernick made it clear that his actions mean no disrespect to veterans. “I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone,” he said in a press conference.

Upon deciding to kneel with Kaepernick, Reid the 49ers’ starting safety and a fourth-year veteran explained, “I just wanted to show my support for him … He wanted to make it clear that he wasn’t trying to be disrespectful to the military or the national anthem, so he decided to change his position to be more respectful, but still bring awareness to the issues that he believes are going on in this country, and that I wholeheartedly believe exist in this country.”

In Oakland, Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane chose to sit on the bench during the National Anthem before Seattle’s game against the Raiders. Though Lane said he doesn’t know Kaepernick, in an interview with the Seattle Times, he said he agrees with the statement he’s trying to make. “It’s something I plan to keep on doing until I feel like justice has been served,” he said. “No, I didn’t tell anyone I was going to do it. I just did it. … I don’t mean no disrespect toward anybody, but I’m just standing behind what I believe.”

According to the Associated Press, Kaepernick was booed multiple times when he took to the field, but when fans were asked to recognize active military personnel during a timeout in the game, he stood and applauded enthusiastically with the rest of the stadium-goers.

Despite being booed during the game, many fans and supporters still stuck around for autographs from Kaepernick after the game. ESPN reported that Kaepernick remained on the field following the game to sign gear and pose for pictures.

In a post-game press conference, Kaepernick also announced that he plans to donate the first million of his $11.9 million salary for the season to charity, and discussed that his decision to kneel rather than sit was to get the “message back on track and not take away from the military, not take away from pride in our country,” but still keep the focus on the real issues.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/09/02/colin-kaepernick-military-game/