Colin Kaepernick header

Fans of both the San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers had a lot to say about Colin Kaepernick’s boycott of the national anthem before the final preseason game at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on September 1st. The quarterback’s much-publicized protest against the treatment of people of color in the U.S. has sparked outrage from many who feel that it is an insult to the thousands of current and retired military personnel being honored at the game as the Chargers hosted the 28th Annual Salute to the Military.  

While there were those in attendance who supported the athlete for taking a stand on racial issues and violence, the stadium erupted with loud booing when the 49ers took to the field at the start of the game. Kaepernick was joined by teammate, safety Eric Reid, who also sat down during the anthem. 

Kaepernick declined to participate in the national anthem at two previous 49ers preseason games while also issuing the following statement, "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 NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. "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."

Kaepernick greets young fans before Chargers vs 49ers preseason game on September 1, 2016.

Colin Kaepernick with fans

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick talks with Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers before they face each other on the field.

Colin Kaepernick with Philip Rivers

Photos: Getty Images