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San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been in the spotlight since his rookie year in 2011, mostly for his erratic play on the field. What he just did — then said — off the field is making headlines.

Prior to a pre-season game with the Green Bay Packers on Friday night, Kaepernick refused to stand for the playing of the National Anthem.

Following the game, the 49ers issued an obligatory statement:

“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.”

Kaepernick retweeted this message on Thursday, which he later deleted:

“The fact that you really believe that there is difference in these flags means that your [sic] ignoring history.”

But it's his explanation on Saturday morning that's making waves:

Twitter was quick to respond:

Then there was this...

While social media's response was predictable, the San Francisco 49ers and the NFL's are not. It will be interesting to watch this play out. Off the field, of course — which seems to be where Kaepernick likes to make news.