Bay Area NBC Sports reporter Damian Trujillo took to Twitter to share the photo, including an additional close-up shot. The display also caught the attention of Lenny Harold, who captured another angle of the moment and quickly tweeted that one of the cheerleaders was taking a knee.
— Damian Trujillo (@newsdamian) November 2, 2018
One of the Niners cheerleaders is taking a knee. pic.twitter.com/DW5SJqh9zj— 2004 never happened (@GatorLenny) November 2, 2018
In a statement to Huffington Post, Harold said the unidentified cheerleader’s display did not seem to affect her fellow teammates, nor did it cause a stir amongst the fans.
“No one else that I know of noticed or reacted,” he shared. “She stayed with her teammates for the rest of the game, and they appeared to support her.”The gesture follows Colin Kaepernick’s series of public protests to racial injustice in which the quarterback knelt during the national anthem. Since 2016, other players and sports teams have joined Kaepernick in the movement, including Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson earlier this season.
President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to vocalize his distaste for the display, telling players to “be happy and be cool” instead of protesting during a football game.
The NFL players are at it again - taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. 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......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
.....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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
This isn’t the first time that a cheerleader has taken a stance in the matter. Last year, a former Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleader spoke to Elle magazine to explain why she believes cheerleaders have avoided protesting.
An unidentified former cheerleader also shared her thoughts with Elle surrounding the topic.
“It’s not that we women don’t have an opinion; we have opinions. Many of us have other jobs while we are cheering; there are doctors and politicians out there on the field. We do this because we love to dance, and our job as cheerleaders isn’t to create controversy. It’s to make everyone happy,” she expressed.
Back in May, the NFL introduced a policy requiring all players to stand during the national anthem while on the field, giving them the choice to stay in the locker room as an alternative. The policy has since been put on hold this year after allegations that the ban violates players’ rights.
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