Colin Kaepernick Jersey Sales Spike Online

Rise in popularity may not all be due to fan approval

Since Colin Kaepernick decided to sit out the national anthem, his San Francisco 49ers’ jersey sales have started soaring online.

The football shirt is now the No. 5 top seller on the NFL’s official online store, a quick ascent from the bottom of the top 50 just a few weeks ago, according to a fan who noticed when the jersey rose to No. 8 on the list.

On the 49ers site, which sells jerseys emblazoned with the names of both current players and past players, like Joe Montana, Kaepernick’s jersey went from the 20th top seller to No. 1 within a few weeks, according to Seattle Times reporter Mike Rosenberg.

Some of the sales spike, however, may not be coming from fans of Kaepernick who have taken to voicing their opposition to the football player’s political statement by burning his jersey.

Since a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on August 26, the quarterback has refused to stand during the national anthem as a way of protesting the country’s treatment of “black people and people of color.”

Kaepernick is currently under a six-year, $114 million contract with the 49ers.

On Thursday night, after a 31-21 preseason win over the San Diego Chargers, the quarterback pledged to donate $1 million of his income to various charities that work with communities.

“I’ve been very blessed to be in this position, to make the kind of money I do, and I have to help these people, these communities,” Kaepernick said in a postgame press conference. “It’s not right that they’re not put in the position to succeed, or given those opportunities to succeed.”

Kaepernick and his girlfriend Nessa, a personality at New York’s Hot 97 radio station, also donated $60,000 worth of backpacks on Friday morning to school kids in Harlem and the South Bronx in New York City, according to The Root.

The NFL player roused the ire of NFL executives and a whole lot of fans when he began protesting police brutality and racial injustice by remaining seated during the national anthem as its played before games. He was also seen wearing socks depicting police officers as pigs during practice early last week.

On the flip side, Kaepernick has also drawn a fair amount of support from high-profile black leaders, including Spike Lee.

During the anthem on Thursday night, which was the 28th annual Salute to the Military at the Chargers’ Qualcomm Stadium, Kaepernick took a knee instead of sitting, though he was still subjected to boos from the crowd.