Colin Kaepernick and teammate Eric Reid took a knee during the national anthem before the San Francisco 49ers’ home opener against the Los Angeles Rams Monday night.
Players on both the 49ers and Rams raised their fists while standing during the anthem in support of Kaepernick’s message. The 49ers’ Antoine Bethea and linbacker Eli Harold raised their fists while their teammates kneeled. Robert Quinn and Kenny Britt also raised their fists on the Rams sideline.
Following the national anthem Kaepernick and Reid shared an embrace. Many players on the San Francisco sideline approached Kaepernick and Reid to either shake hands or hug before taking the field, CBS San Francisco reports.
ESPN‘s Lindsay Czarniak, reporting from the sideline, said that she heard fans shouting at Kaepernick during the anthem telling him to stand up. Czarniak also again drew attention to the many 49ers players who approached Kaepernick after the anthem showing he has more support than just the few kneeling and raising their fists.
The national anthem was the talk of the game, which ended in a 28-0 victory for San Francisco. Kaepernick took the field late in the game to relieve starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert to boos from the crowd.
49ers linebacker Eli Harold, who raised his fist during the anthem, said the boos “really pissed [him] off,” ESPN reports.
“I’m not throwing shots at our fans. It’s not about that. Liberty and justice for all. Just because this man is standing up for something he believes in doesn’t give you the right to boo him,” Harold said. “I just don’t understand it, man. I really don’t.”
The 49ers’ chief executive officer Jed York has also come to Kaepernick’s defense and has “pledged $1 million from the team’s charitable foundation” to organizations that seek the same change Kaepernick is pursuing, according to ESPN.