San Francisco 49er Cheerleader Starts Kneeling During National Anthem
Santa Clara, CA - A member of the San Francisco 49ers’ Gold Rush squad became the first NFL cheerleader to kneel during the National Anthem on Thursday night.
The cheerleader has not yet been identified and has not said anything about her motivations, according to CBS News.
"I just thought it was peaceful, respectful, constitutionally-protected free speech," said Lenny Herrold, a fan in the stands who took a photo of the cheerleader that went viral on social media, according to CBS News.
The photos posted on social media were of a brunette cheerleader taking a knee while the rest of the cheerleaders stood at attention.
“No one else that I know of noticed or reacted,” Herrold told Huffington Post in a message. “She stayed with her teammates for the rest of the game, and they appeared to support her.”
The game was played on national TV on the NFL Network, which has the broadcast rights for Thursday night games.
San Francisco was the start of the anti-police demonstration when then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee in 2016 during an exhibition game.
“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 said.
Kaepernick even sported socks depicting police officers as pigs along with his Nike shoes.
The protest later expanded even further to be a protest of President Donald Trump by some after the president spoke out against the protest.
The NFL implemented a policy in May that would have fined players who took a knee but the rescinded it when the NFL players’ union challenged it, according to CBS News.