Published On: Sat, Aug 27th, 2016

Kaepernick sits during national anthem

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Chris Humphreys / USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick did not stand during the national anthem before his preseason debut Friday against the Green Bay Packers.

The 49ers released a statement defending Kaepernick’s right to decide whether to participate in the celebration of the national 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 to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports that this has been a common occurrence for Kaepernick.

Kaepernick underwhelmed in his debut, appearing to fall even further behind Blaine Gabbert in the race for the starting job.

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