Sakamoto: 49ers Colin Kaepernick Explains To NFL Network Steve Wyche Why He Sat During National Anthem!

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We are supposed to be talking about San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick’s preseason debut on the field, instead we are talking about his antics off the field. In the latest drama surrounding the 49ers dual-threat quarterback, Kaepernick refused to stand up for the opening of the National Anthem.


I saw Steve Wyche of NFL Network talking one-on-one with Kaepernick at length about this very issue shortly after the game, and Kaepernick seemed very firm in his stance.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told Wyche. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

The 49ers shortly released a statement verifying/confirming that Kaepernick did not partake in the ceremony:

“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”

The NFL released their statement saying that players are NOT required to partake in the opening festivities:

“Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem.”

Kaepernick went on to say that he will toot to his own horn with little to no approval…

“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,” Kaepernick told Wyche. “I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at or call him at (408) 622-0996.