In the 49ers' final preseason game, backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel for the national anthem instead of taking a seat on the bench.
Turns out it was former Seahawks player and Green Beret Nate Boyer who talked Kap into making the change. Boyer wrote an open letter to Kaepernick earlier this season, and it caused the two to meet up and discuss America and honoring the anthem.
On the upcoming episode of HBO's "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" (airing Tuesday night at 10 p.m. ET), Boyer reveals what happened in the discussion between the two men.
"We sorta came to a middle ground where he would take a knee alongside his teammates," Boyer says. "Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother's grave, you know, to show respect. When we're on a patrol, you know, and we go into a security halt, we take a knee, and we pull security."
Asked by Gumbel if Kap was "receptive" to his ideas, Boyer described him as "very receptive."
"Very receptive. He said, 'I think that would be-- I think-- I think that would be really powerful,'" Boyer recalls. "And, you know, he asked me to do it with him. And I said, 'Look, I'll stand next to you. I gotta stand though. I gotta stand with my hand on my heart. That's just-- that's just what I do and where I'm from.'"
The two met and took a picture together, but Boyer wasn't willing to take a knee.
Thanks for the invite brother... Good talk. Let's just keep moving forward. This is what America should be all about pic.twitter.com/LgjPpjk173— Nate Boyer (@NateBoyer37) September 2, 2016
Boyer also got called many names for his decision to stand next to Kaepernick during the anthem.
"I got called a lotta things from both sides. I was told I was a disgrace to the green beret by a couple Green Berets, one of 'em I was friends with," Boyer says. "And that hurts, you know? It really does. But then I also had a lot of people in the military and people in special forces that said, 'Man, I hadn't really thought about that before. And I think you're onto something.'"
There are always going to be people who don't appreciate what Kap is doing, and there are always going to be people who don't appreciate Boyer reaching out to him.
But the bottom line is that discussion, in a positive and peaceful fashion, is always better than screaming angrily about a subject matter.
Boyer and Kap might not see eye to eye, but bridging the gap by even speaking about the issues is a pretty good start.