-Black Lives Matter September 7, 2016 Daren Revell ESPN
Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during “The Star-Spangled Banner” has boosted sales of his merchandise.
The San Francisco quarterback now has the best-selling jersey on the team, according to the team’s website. Kaepernick was sixth all year prior to his protest.
A source with knowledge of sales numbers confirmed to ESPN that more Kaepernick gear was sold last week on the team site than the past eight months combined.
Kaepernick has not stood during the national anthem for the past two preseason games because he said he didn’t want to show pride in a flag of a country “that oppresses black people and people of color.”
Kaepernick’s was the third-best-selling player jersey on NFL.com as of Monday, according to the website. The only jerseys that were selling better were Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott‘s and New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s.
Kaepernick has been heavily criticized for his protest, but he has also received support. He was joined in his protest at Thursday’s game by 49ers safety Eric Reid.
“I’m not anti-American,” Kaepernick said after the game. “I love America. That’s why I’m doing this.”
On Monday, President Barack Obama commented on Kaepernick’s stance at the G20 Summit.
“He’s exercising his constitutional right to make a statement,” he said. “I think there is a long history of athletes doing so.”
Kaepernick, who is being paid $11.9 million this year, will begin the season as the backup to Blaine Gabbert.