The 2015 NFL season was not a good one for Colin Kaepernick. Previously a solid quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, he was largely ineffective when starting, and was eventually unseated by Blaine Gabbert, who may have redeemed himself after being written off as a draft bust. He also demanded to be traded earlier this year, though this didn’t result in any serious offers. But the controversy he’s in right now is far deeper than any quarterback controversy – “Kap” is now getting attention after twice refusing to stand for the national anthem in the NFL preseason.

Kaepernick says he sat during national anthem to protest oppression of blacks, other minorities

Kaepernick, who is part-African-American, told NFL Media after Friday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers that he chose to sit during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner as he refuses to be proud of a country “that oppresses black people and people of color.” He said that the issue is larger than pro Football itself, and that it wouldn’t be right for him to ignore the issue any longer.

"This is not something that I am going to run by anybody," Kaepernick continued, saying that he doesn’t need anyone’s approval to stand for the rights of people whom he believes are being oppressed. He added that if it results in him losing his endorsements and the NFL taking his “(chance to play) football away,” it wouldn’t matter, as he had made a stand on an issue he feels is important.

In response to Kaepernick’s actions, the 49ers released a prepared statement effectively recognizing his decision not to celebrate the national anthem in protest.

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This is a sharp contrast from a case in the NBA that took place about two decades ago, when Denver Nuggets guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf similarly refused to acknowledge the national anthem or the American flag, giving many of the same reasons as Kaepernick did. Abdul-Rauf, who was originally known as Chris Jackson before converting to Islam, served a suspension for his actions before coming to terms with the NBA and agreeing to stand for the national anthem with the rest of his teammates.

“Football decisions” on Kap’s future are forthcoming

Although the 49ers as a team have expressed support for Kaepernick’s stance on the practice of standing for the national anthem, there may be a chance his days with the team are numbered. Head coach Chip Kelly was previously quoted as saying that San Francisco has not talked about possibly cutting Kaepernick, who performed poorly in the game against Green Bay, throwing for only 14 yards and completing only a third (2-for-6) of his passes.

But according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the coach may be making some “football decisions” on the quarterback unrelated to the controversy.

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