Before Colin Kaepernick continued his protest of racial injustice in the U.S. by taking a knee alongside 49ers teammate Eric Reid during the national anthem Thursday night, he met with Nate Boyer. The Green Beret wrote an open letter to Kaepernick at the Army Times after Kaepernick's protest drew attention last week.
On Twitter, Boyer, a former long snapper for the Seahawks, thanked Kaepernick for inviting him for what he called a "good talk."
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
Fox Sports' Jay Glazer provided more information about their meeting on Twitter:
My man @NateBoyer37 epitomizes what's right in this country. Credit to Colin Kaepernick who invited Nate down to San Diego to have an open dialogue today. Nate said they spoke for about 90 minutes, both presented their sides, thoughts and talked about compromise and not dishonoring those who've served.
"Being able to move forward and understanding what his message is but also understanding what that flag means is important. We talked about change a lot and how to get positive change to happen. We talked about issues that are taking place in this country and how to prompt change but i also reminded him the great freedoms and luxuries we have in America."
Nate was also invited by Kap and the 49ers to be their guest for tonight's game, so Nate is planning on standing with the team.
Boyer did end up standing on the sideline during the national anthem while Kaepernick and Reid kneeled. Afterwards, Boyer texted The Mercury News' Cam Inman that Kaepernick "took a big step by getting up off the bench and taking a knee. He gave a little so I gave a little respect."
In Boyer's letter, he admitted to being initially angry with Kaepernick before saying that he's willing to listen to Kaepernick with an open mind:
Even though my initial reaction to your protest was one of anger, I'm trying to listen to what you're saying and why you're doing it. When I told my mom about this article, she cautioned me that "the last thing our country needed right now was more hate." As usual, she's right.
There are already plenty people fighting fire with fire, and it's just not helping anyone or anything. So I'm just going to keep listening, with an open mind. I look forward to the day you're inspired to once again stand during our national anthem. I'll be standing right there next to you. Keep on trying ... De Oppresso Liber.
Kaepernick has maintained that he'll continue his protest until he sees meaningful change.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," he said. "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."