A cheerleader for the San Francisco 49ers was caught on camera seemingly kneeling during the US national anthem before the team’s game against the Oakland Raiders on Thursday.
While the rest of the cheerleading squad stood in unison, holding their pom-poms during the anthem, the woman, who has not been identified yet, appeared to take a knee and put her hands on her hips.
One of the Niners cheerleaders is taking a knee. pic.twitter.com/DW5SJqh9zj— 2004 never happened (@GatorLenny) 2 ноември 2018 г.
The bold move, which may or may not have intended to send a message, has garnered much attention on social media, with some praising the courageous cheerleader:
This is what heroes look like!— Serafina (@Serafina2112) 2 ноември 2018 г.
Inspired that she shows that strength!— Frank Jungman (@fjungman1) 2 ноември 2018 г.
that is awesome. very commendable and courageous woman.— rand paul's neighbor (@ILive66Failed) 2 ноември 2018 г.
Others, however, blasted her for being disrespectful to the country and suggested that she be fired:
Disrespectful to our country, our service members, and our flag. She's not a valued member of the football team or her squad. She should be let released from the squad. She's easily replaceable with someone we can respect and someone we would like to watch cheer on her team.— Brigid Riendeau (@dragonslight) 2 ноември 2018 г.
Fire her— Frederica Wheeler (@497acc4ae13a466) 2 ноември 2018 г.
That is not heroism. Fighting for your country risking your life is heroism. Anyone who protests anything at their place of work should be fired. It's called being an idiot not heroism. Educated people know this.— Catrina Jones (@m43433) 2 ноември 2018 г.
She should lose her job— Silence (@SilentPatriot_) 2 ноември 2018 г.
In March 2017, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers and in November that year filed a grievance against the NFL, alleging that NFL owners had colluded to keep him out of the league.
Dozens of other NFL players have followed suit over the past two years, but this seems to be the first time a NFL cheerleader has done it.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly condemned such protests, insisting that players involved be suspended without pay. In May, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the league would fine players who disrespect the American flag and national anthem.