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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick caused a controversy with his decision to sit during the national anthem before Friday's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.

Kaepernick, who is biracial, told NFL.com, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."

"To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way," Kaepernick said. "There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

Kaepernick, who is competing with Blaine Gabbert for the 49ers' starting quarterback job, said he is not concerned about any backlash to his decision.

"This is not something that I am going to run by anybody," he said. "I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed ... If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right."

The 49ers released a statement to Pro Football Talk:

The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.

Many people took to social media to share their reaction to Kaepernick's controversial decision:

Let us know what you think in the comments!


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