A San Francisco 49ers cheerleader took a knee during the national anthem, following former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s lead in his controversial protest.
Before the kick off on Thursday night against the Oakland Raiders, one fan snapped a photo of the cheerleader as she knelt at Levi’s Stadium. She is reportedly the first cheerleader to kneel.
One of the Niners cheerleaders is taking a knee. pic.twitter.com/DW5SJqh9zj
— 2004 never happened (@GatorLenny) November 2, 2018
The cheerleader is part of Kaepernick’s former team, and the former player found himself in the headlines following his kneeling in protest of police brutality and racial inequality.
— Damian Trujillo (@newsdamian) November 2, 2018
The former player found himself making headlines again when he became one of the faces for Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, where the controversial advertisement’s slogan read, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Kaepernick has not been a part of an NFL team since playing for the 49ers in 2016, however, other players have continued in the protest — including Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson.
My Brothers @kstills and @ithinkisee12 continue to show their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed! They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated. Their courage will move the world forward!
“Love is at the root of our resistance!”✊? pic.twitter.com/2kSsX4s7EU
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 9, 2018
The man who took the viral photo, Lenny Herrold, called the cheerleader’s actions “bold,” CBS News reported.
“America is the land of the free,” one man said in the interview. “And we are free to do what we want to do.”
Another man said, “I would get rid of her because I support the national anthem.”
Watch the video below:
Kaepernick filed a grievance with NFL owners for collusion, according to ESPN.
The filing states that the owners and NFL “have colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick’s leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice and his bringing awareness to peculiar institutions still undermining racial equality in the United States.”
The NFL came under heat after they announced that they were going to shelve their anthem policy that would require players to either stand for the anthem or stay in the locker room — that policy continues to stay shelved.