One of the 49ers cheerleaders kneeled during the playing of the national anthem Thursday night, presumably to carry on the protest started two years ago at Levi’s by Colin Kaepernick.
It’s at least the second time a member of the team’s Gold Rush squad took a knee during the anthem. Last Christmas Eve, two 49ers cheerleaders kneeled in protest before the team’s game in Santa Clara against Jacksonville.
The unidentified cheerleader was caught on camera Thursday before the team’s nationally televised game against the Raiders.
Viewers around the country, however, did not witness her protest since Fox, like most networks airing NFL games, decided not to televise the anthem live this season. The move was made to try to diffuse the controversial protesting during the anthem.
The 49ers didn’t respond to a Huffington Post request to identify the cheerleader who protested before the team’s rousing 34-3 victory over Raiders.
Kaepernick and another former 49er, Eric Reid, gained notoriety for protesting police brutality and racial inequality by taking a knee during the Star Spangled Banner. They were joined by other players around the NFL, which led many critics to criticize the move as unpatriotic.
However, it’s unusual to see an NFL cheerleader join the movement Kaepernick started. One former cheerleader said there’s a good reason why more cheerleaders aren’t protesting.
“Bottom line, cheerleaders are a little fish in a big pond,” former Jaguars cheerleader Michele Wright told Elle.com. “Although they are of great worth and value to the football experience and their respective communities, many are undervalued. So to remain neutral, they wouldn’t take a knee.”