Will 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick remove the American flag decal from his helmet when he faces the Chargers in San Diego?
The controversial athlete has faced condemnation for refusing to stand for the national anthem during NFL games as a form of protest.
Kaepernick’s next game takes place in a town with a large concentration of military personnel and a U.S. naval base. Many are wondering if he will remove the American flag decal on his helmet.
The anthem will be performed by Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Powell from the U.S. Navy.
On Aug. 26, the Packers and 49ers faced each other in a preseason game. Viewers saw that Kaepernick’s helmet still had the decal of the flag that he refuses to honor before each game. It’s uncertain if he’s considering removing it for the game on Sept. 1, reports NBC Sports.
A photo of Kaepernick wearing socks featuring pigs in police hats during practice in August made waves.
According to the NFL, players are urged but not mandated to stand for the national anthem. The football association later said players may not remove flag decals from helmets.
Kaepernick is expected to continue his anthem protest at the game billed as the 28th Annual Salute to the Military, CNN reports.
Kaepernick has said he’ll refuse to stand again, just as he’s done for the first three preseason games. He says he will not “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
On Aug. 30, Chip Kelly, 49ers head coach, said he plans on benching quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who is the likely favorite to be named the starter for Week 1.
"We feel like the bulk of work for what he needs to do we've got a good understanding of where Blaine is," Kelly said. "And unfortunately because of Colin's injury and missing those first two preseason games, he's only got 13 snaps. So, we've got to move forward and see if we can get him some more snaps here."
When asked about Kaepernick not standing for the national anthem, Kelly said he did not ask his about his intention for it.
“No, and it’s his right as a citizen,” said Kelly.