Colin Kaepernick will most likely kneel for the national anthem this Sunday, but he will be on his feet as the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers for the first time this season.
49ers head coach Chip Kelly made the announcement on Tuesday, with current starting QB Blaine Gabbert serving as Kaepernick’s back up on Sunday. The 49ers are currently 1-4 this season.
“It’s not Blaine’s fault,” Kelly said, per SFGate. “It’s just as a group offensively we need to be better in a lot of ways. So we’re going to see what we can do and make a move here. It was one the only maneuvers we could make based on our depth.”
Kaepernick has become the center of a media firestorm by refusing to stand during the national anthem before games. Kaepernick previously said he will not stand out of refusal to “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people.”
Kaepernick’s protest has drawn strong reactions on both sides of the issue. According to ESPN, an E-Poll Marketing Research survey asked a cross-section of 1,100 Americans to categorize their feelings for more than 350 NFL players. As it turns out, Kaepernick was “disliked a lot” by 29 percent of those polled, more than anyone else listed.
Among African-Americans, however, the story is quite different. The E-Poll questionnaire revealed that 42 percent of black people now say they like the 49ers quarterback “a lot,” while only 2 percent dislike him “a lot.” Two years ago, 16 percent of African-Americans said they liked Kaepernick “a lot,” while 3 percent disliked him “a lot.”