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Kaepernick continues anthem protest; others join

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's protest of racial oppression and inequality in the United States continued before Monday night's 28-0 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

For the second game in a row, Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid knelt during the song while teammates Antoine Bethea and Eli Harold stood and held up their right fists. Rams defensive end Robert Quinn and receiver Kenny Britt also held up fists. Britt also was one of five Rams players to hold up his hands after unrest in Ferguson back in 2014.

Niners defensive lineman Quinton Dial helped hold the large flag during the anthem.

Kaepernick said earlier this week that he would continue to kneel during the national anthem and reaffirmed that plan to ESPN's Lindsay Czarniak on Monday night.

Asked about his reaction to the support he's been getting from players around the league, Kaepernick said, "It's just great — you can see everybody's paying attention."

Colin Kaepernick has said his national anthem protest is not meant to denigrate police, military or the country, but rather to bring attention to what he sees as failings in the United States. Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Last week, Jed York, the 49ers chief executive officer, pledged $1 million from the team's charitable foundation to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the San Francisco Foundation, organizations with goals to assist in some of the same areas Kaepernick is attempting to help.

Kaepernick previously pledged the first $1 million he makes this season to help communities in need and has said he will do the same with proceeds from his jersey sales.

On Monday night, York said he and Kaepernick have had conversations over the past few weeks and again offered support to Kaepernick's efforts.

"I'd just say that human rights is a philosophy that everybody should hold dear," York said. "It's not easy to make a stand and to do something that's not popular — that's everybody — and I think that's what Colin has done, but I think he's done it in a respectful way. He's trying to bring a voice to people that he doesn't feel have one, and I think we want to do the same thing and try to help."

York added that he has no problems with his players figuring out what actions they want to take and then following through.

"I'm not going to tell the guys what to do," York said. "I'm not going to get into that. That's not my place. The locker room will take care of itself. I think even with this, when everybody wants to talk about is this a distraction, what's going on, it's been something that I think has been an issue that most people haven't discussed openly in locker rooms and quite honestly most places. And I think our locker room is one of the places where guys can … they find a way to actually have a conversation about it as opposed to looking and having a preconceived notion of what does this mean and then kind of going their own separate ways."

While Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall has lost endorsements over his decision to kneel before Thursday's game against the Carolina Panthers, York said the 49ers have received no blowback from sponsors.

"They've all been really good," York said.


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