Colin Kaepernick may have made himself America's least popular football player with his refusal to stand for the national anthem, but he isn't backing down, ESPN reports. The San Francisco 49er told reporters Sunday that he won't stand for the anthem until America stops oppressing black people. "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," said the quarterback, who cited recent police killings of black men and his own experiences of prejudice and oppression. He stressed, however, that he has nothing against the military.
Asked if he thought he might be cut from the team, Kaepernick said, "I don't know. But if I do, I know I did what's right. And I can live with that at the end of the day." The San Francisco Chronicle spoke to his teammates and found that while some of them are offended by his stance, they respect his right to voice an opinion. "I think everyone has a right to stand up for what they believe in. I respect that, first and foremost, whether I agree with what he did and the way he did it, that's not for me," says wide receiver Torrey Smith. "He has that right. [Soldiers] will die for his right to do exactly what he did." (Some former fans are burning Kaepernick jerseys.)