LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand for the national anthem apparently has made his San Francisco 49ers jersey very popular, no matter why people are buying it.
The league’s 33rd best seller on draft day in April, Kaepernick’s jersey has now become the top seller on the NFL Shop best sellers list.
The other players who trail him, and have been leading most of preseason jersey sales are rookies Carson Wentz and Ezekiel Elliot.
Not only is back-up quarterback Kaepernick gaining traction with his jersey sales, but many have publicly endorsed his stance by showing support.
On Monday, President Obama acknowledged the movement the 49ers QB is trying to start stating that it’s a “tough thing” to see Kaepernick kneel instead of stand during the national anthem, but he defended him saying he was “exercising his constitutional right to make a statement.”
Kaepernick, Obama added, “cares about some real legitimate issues that have to be talked about.”
“If nothing else, what he’s done is he’s generated more conversation around some topics that need to be talked about,” Obama said following an international economic summit in Asia.
U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe also sided with Kaepernick as she was seen taking a knee during the national anthem before her match on Sunday.
When asked about why she took a knee, Rapinoe – who publicly came out as gay in 2012 – told American Soccer Now that the decision was “very international” and she considered it a “little nod to Kaepernick.”
“I think it’s actually pretty disgusting the way he was treated and the way that a lot of the media has covered it and made it about something that it absolutely isn’t.”
“We need to have a more thoughtful, two-sided conversation about racial issues in this country.”
Many other public figures have also shown their support:
Susan Sarandon took to Twitter to announce her intention to buy Kaepernick’s jersey.
Skip Bayless showed his support during his debut edition of “Undisputed” on FS1 saying, “The statement needed to be made.”
“Because I do know this as a white guy: We have an outrageous problem in this country. Too many black men…have died at the hands of policemen — defenseless black men — without penalty.”
Former Lakers center, U.S. cultural ambassador, best-selling author, and activist Kareem Abdul Jabbar wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post defending the controversial QB.
“Patriotism isn’t just getting teary-eyed on the Fourth of July or choked up at war memorials,” wrote Abdul-Jabbar. “It’s supporting what the Fourth of July celebrates and what those war memorials commemorate: the U.S. Constitution’s insistence that all people should have the same rights and opportunities and that it is the obligation of the government to make that happen. When the government fails in those obligations, it is the responsibility of patriots to speak up and remind them of their duty.”
There has also been a major movement on social media with U.S. veterans posting their support using the hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick
The 49ers backup quarterback, who wouldn’t stand for the anthem during the team’s preseason games, has cited racial injustice and police brutality among the many reasons for his protest and said he plans to continue into the regular season.
San Francisco opens the season Sept. 12 hosting the Los Angeles Rams.
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