NFL responds to Colin Kaepernick's National Anthem protest

The NFL has responded to Colin Kaepernick's protest of the National Anthem on Friday night, releasing an official statement that said players are "encouraged but not required" to stand during the National Anthem before games.

Via NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback remained seated on the bench during the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Levi's Stadium on Friday. Kaepernick explained his reason for not standing in an exclusive interview with, stating that he will not "show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color."

The 49ers, like the NFL, recognized Kaepernick's right to remain seated in an official statement. The 28-year-old quarterback knew this would be a controversial decision, as reaction to his protest on social media has been predictably split.

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