On Monday, protest against the over-policing of black communities continued around the NFL as San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick and teammate Eric Reid knelt during the national anthem while teammates Antoine Bethea and Eli Harold raised their fists. After the anthem, several players from the 49ers walked over and hugged Kaepernick, who has vowed to continue his protest until conditions for minorities improve.
"I think it's become so blatantly obvious that athletes and people in general have to react," Kaepernick said, ESPN reports. "It's not something that, with social media, there's so many instances where it's instantly to you, and you see these things every day, day after day, and that's hard.
"For me, it was something that I couldn't see another hashtag Sandra Bland, hashtag Tamir Rice, hashtag Walter Scott, hashtag Eric Garner; the list goes on and on and on," Kaepernick added.
"At what point do we do something about it? At what point do we take a stand and as a people say this isn't right? You have a badge, yes. You're supposed to be protecting us, not murdering us, and that's what the issue really is and we need to change that," he continued.
The 49ers teammates were not alone in their protest; Los Angeles Rams defensive end Robert Quinn and receiver Kenny Britt also raised their fists during the national anthem.
"Just standing up for my rights," Quinn said. "Everyone knows the whole situation. Long story short, Fisher asked us to stand. So I respect him enough to do that. But at least to show awareness, raise my fist, show support out there that you have support throughout the league. I didn't want to try to distract the team; just wants to have my right of freedom."
Kaepernick entered the 49ers game late in the fourth quarter to a chorus of boos from his home crowd.
"What really pissed me off was when Kap was getting snaps at the end of the game and the crowd was booing," Harold said, ESPN reports. "I'm not throwing shots at our fans. It's not about that. Liberty and justice for all. Just because this man is standing up for something he believes in doesn't give you the right to boo him. I just don't understand it, man. I really don't."
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins also played Monday night, and players for both teams didn't appear to protest during the anthem. In fact, both teams joined military personnel to hold a large American flag as "The Star-Spangled Banner" played.
Read more at ESPN.