San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman has decided not to kneel in protest during football games, but he told SI's Pro Football Now that he supports teammate Colin Kaepernick.
Bowman said he respects his quarterback's protest and that there are "huge issues" in America that "someone has to take a stand for."
“He has a right to feel how he feels and take a stance on whatever issues that he has with what's going on in the country and you can do nothing but respect that,” Bowman told SI's Pro Football Now. “As far as the team, we drew a line that the main goal for this team is to win win games, stay focused, stay together and not let any distractions come in between but there is huge issues, serious issues going on in this country that someone has to take a stand for. Colin's done that first. It's been talked about since he's done it so obviously there is a problem that needs to be fixed. Colin's done a great job with balancing that and the team's done a great job of respecting Colin's choice.”
Bowman has been Kaepernick's teammate for six seasons with the 49ers.
Kaepernick started his national anthem demonstration during the preseason, first sitting and later kneeling during the song to protest racial inequality and injustice in America, namely police violence. He has not played in any game this season but plans to continue his protest.
Players throughout the NFL and other sports have also joined Kaepernick's protest.