SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. – San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick found himself at the center of a firestorm again this week after he refused to sit down during an outdoor music festival in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The twenty-eight year-old biracial football star was attending a free concert with some friends Tuesday afternoon when he reportedly began to experience a stiffness in his neck. “Everyone was lounging around trying to enjoy the music,” fellow concert goer Mike Kepler told CNN. “All of a sudden the guy in front of me gets up and starts doing these stretching moves and I suddenly realize this is the guy who wouldn’t stand up for the national anthem.”
Kepler said he and his fiance repeatedly asked the NFL player to sit down but their pleas fell on deaf ears. According to a friend of Kaepernick’s who witnessed the encounter, the star athlete turned around on more than one occasion and politely told the couple that he preferred to stand after having been on an airplane all day. “It’s a free country, he tells me. Can you believe that?” Kepler later told Wolf Blitzer. “I mean who does this guy think he is?”
Kepler said he and several other attendees complained to event staff about Kaepernick’s behavior during and after the concert but were met with similar indignation. “We were basically told that it’s his right to stand if he wants to stand. Well its my goddamn right to see the f***ing stage,” Kepler retorted, adding that his grandfather died in the Pacific while fighting the Japanese to preserve that right.
This isn’t the first time the 49ers star has come under fire over his posture. Last Friday, Kaepernick, who is adopted, stirred controversy when he declined to stand for the national anthem during a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.