“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.
The 49ers responded to Kaepernick’s symbolic statement by recognizing his right to protest the anthem:
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 and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.
Kaepernick’s salary-cap figures are $3.767 million for 2014, $17.265 million for 2015, $18.765 million for 2016, $21.365 million for 2017, $21.865 million for 2018, $21.2 million for 2019 and $23.4 million for 2020. The 49ers also have a mechanism built into the deal where they can create additional salary-cap space at any time throughout the course of the deal at their discretion by converting base salaries into signing bonuses.