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Kaepernick booed for US anthem protest

Associated Press Associated Press 2/09/2016 By Greg Beacham

Colin Kaepernick and San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid kneeled during the US national anthem on Thursday night, continuing the quarterback's pre-season protest of American racial injustice and minority oppression.

Kaepernick and Reid dropped to one knee while a naval officer sang The Star-Spangled Banner and dozens of military members unfurled an oversized flag at the Chargers' Qualcomm Stadium.

Kaepernick received scattered boos when he dropped to a knee, but the protest drew no other reaction from the San Diego crowd.

The 49ers' visit coincided with the annual `Salute to the Military' pre-season game for the Chargers, who have strong fan support in their city's extensive armed forces community.

Kaepernick got much heavier boos when he took the field to start the game for the 49ers and immediately led them on a 16-play, 85-yard touchdown drive.

The veteran quarterback is attempting to regain the starting job that he lost last season.

His protest has dominated public discussion of America's most popular sport and his stance has been met with equally passionate condemnation and support.

His refusal to stand for the anthem first came to public notice last week when he remained seated on the 49ers' bench before a pre-season game against Green Bay.

Kaepernick said he had invited teammates to sit with him during the anthem, but didn't expect any to join him.

His invitation apparently was accepted by Reid, the 49ers' starting safety and a fourth-year veteran from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Reid, who wasn't in uniform for the game, had been publicly supportive of Kaepernick's stance.

One sign in the crowd read: "You're an American. Act like one."

In Oakland, Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane also sat on the bench behind his standing teammates as the national anthem was performed before Seattle's game against the Raiders.

Kaepernick's social activism, which only emerged publicly in recent weeks, also included support for the Black Lives Matter movement through social media.

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