Niners cheerleader takes a knee during national anthem.
Prior to the Thursday night football game between the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers, one of the Niners' "Gold Rush" cheerleaders took a knee in the endzone during the national anthem. The NFL has opted not to air the anthem on TV this season, but photos of the unnamed cheerleader quickly surfaced on twitter.
According to the Huffington Post, Thursday’s pre-game anthem in San Francisco marks the first public display of protest by an NFL cheerleader.
ELLE spoke with several NFL cheerleaders in 2017 asking why they did not participate in the protests alongside players. Some pointed to lack of support and fear of losing their jobs in a climate where Colin Kaepernick remains unemployed.
Elle's report states: "Not one woman ELLE.com spoke to for this story said she would have participated in the protests. It’s simply not the culture of cheering, they explained, and their captains wouldn’t have supported them. Also, since cheerleaders are often told how replaceable they are, they felt that they could very easily be fired for taking a stand. One pointed out that even a talented, well-known player like Kaepernick essentially lost his job for making a statement. Few cheerleaders would be willing to take that risk."
The 49ers started undrafted rookie free agent QB Nick Mullens last night after backup-turned-starter CJ Beathard was ruled out with an injury. Mullens had a historic debut, as the Niners routed the Raiders 34-3 en route to their second victory of the season. Meanwhile, former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick remains unemployed.