Quarterback Colin Kaepernick will play on Thursday night against the San Diego Chargers, the team announced.
Fellow quarterback Blaine Gabbert will not play, head coach Chip Kelly says.
Kaepernick chose not to stand for the national anthem before San Francisco’s preseason game on Friday in protest of racial oppression. He said that he will continue to sit during the “Star Spangled Banner” at future games.
The NFL issued a statement that says players are “encouraged but not required to stand” during the anthem.
The political statement has drawn both criticism and support from fellow NFL players and coaches.
Apart from Kaepernick's personal beliefs, the 49ers may soon make a football-related decision on whether or not to keep the quarterback. Kaepernick may not be the starting quarterback, but his $11.9 million base salary for the upcoming season is guaranteed. He has a $14.5 million salary in 2017 that is guaranteed if he is injured or unable to pass a physical by April 1.
Gabbert could earn the starting job after Kaepernick threw for just 1,615 yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions in an injury-shortened season.