San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid joined his controversial teammate Colin Kaepernick in not standing for the national anthem during Thursday night's game against the San Diego Chargers. Both players took a knee during the playing of "The Star Spangled Banner" before the final preseason game started.
Kaepernick has been refusing to stand during the national anthem this preseason in order to protest "a country that oppresses Black people and people of color." Remaining seated this time was even more politically charged than normal because the game is also the occasion of the Chargers' 28th Annual Salute to the Military. According to a press release from the team, commemorations of the military will take place both before and during the game.
Fans in attendance will enjoy pregame entertainment provided by the Marine Band San Diego along with the Frog X parachute team, featuring retired navy seals who will be leaping into Qualcomm Stadium. The National Anthem will be performed by Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Powell from the U.S. Navy while 240 sailors, marines and soldiers present a U.S. Super Flag and service emblems from all branches of service. Color guards from the Navy, Marine Corps and Army will present the flag.
At halftime the Chargers will recognize six Vietnam War veterans as a remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the war. The Chargers will also have wounded warriors as special guests and a patriotic fireworks show to wrap up half-time.
At the start of the third quarter, Petty officer 1st Class Steven Powell will return to the field where he will perform God Bless America.
The pre-game military celebration riled up the crowd, who booed Kaepernick when he first came on the field.
However, the QB also received some love for his stance.
Kaepernick made very clear that his stance had nothing to do with the military when he applauded the veterans who received recognition during the game.