49ers cheerleader takes a knee during national anthem after NFL bans players from kneeling on field
The cheerleader who has not been identified reportedly took the knee ahead of San Francisco 49ers' home game against the Oakland Raiders at Levi's Stadium on Thursday
A cheerleader for the San Francisco 49ers followed the cue of the National Football League (NFL) players and took a knee during the national anthem after players during the Thursday game were banned from protesting on the field.
The cheerleader, who has not been identified, reportedly kneeled ahead of their home game against the Oakland Raiders at Levi's Stadium, according to Daily Mail. The rare moment of the on-field protest by the cheerleader was captured on camera by a Raiders fan Lenny Herold. Reports state that this is the first time an NFL cheerleader has taken a knee during the national anthem.
One of the Niners cheerleaders is taking a knee. pic.twitter.com/DW5SJqh9zj— 2004 never happened (@GatorLenny) November 2, 2018
NFL players began taking a knee during the national anthem two years ago in an effort to protest police brutality and the rampant racism in the country.
The unique protest was started by football quarterback Colin Kaepernick when he was with the San Francisco 49ers in 2016 and stirred a national controversy. Other players took his cue and joined the protest in the 2016 season, and a few players have continued the protest till now.
Kaepernick, during a post-game interview, said: "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 quarterback has not played in the NFL since 2016 and is reportedly fighting a collusion case against the football league from blocking him out of the games.
Shortly after Herold posted the picture of the cheerleader, the image went viral on social media and was liked thousands of times. The picture shows a brunette woman taking a knee while her fellow cheerleaders stand around her.
More than 200 players sat or knelt during the national anthem on September 24, 2017 in response to President Donald Trump who slammed the players' actions and called on the owners of their teams to "fire" the players who protested.
"The NFL players are at it again — taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem," Trump wrote on Twitter. "Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their "outrage" at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love...Be happy, be cool!"
"A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!" Trump had tweeted.
The NFL, earlier this year, had announced a rule which required all the players to stand during the national anthem. The association, however, gave an option to the players to stand off the field until the ceremony was over instead of kneeling outside.