The San Francisco 49ers cheerleader who knelt during the “Star Spangled Banner” at the Nov. 1 game against the Oakland Raiders has been identified as Kayla Morris from Antioch, California. According to KRON4, Morris was confirmed by family members as the woman photographed taking a knee in the end zone at Levi Stadium.
An unidentified cheerleader for the San Francisco 49ers was spotted kneeling during the national anthem at Thursday’s game against the Oakland Raiders.
A photo of the incident at Levi Stadium was uploaded to Twitter on Monday night by the user @GatorLenny. “One of the Niners cheerleaders is taking a knee,” he captioned the image.
One of the Niners cheerleaders is taking a knee. pic.twitter.com/DW5SJqh9zj
— Tyree Appleby Stan Account (@GatorLenny) November 2, 2018
The 49ers is the former team of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began taking a knee during the “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the 2016 season. The silent protest was meant to bring awareness to police brutality and the racial oppression of African-Americas.
The protest became a national debate about respecting the flag and veterans. President Donald Trump referred to any player who would kneel during the anthem “son of a b****” and proposed firing football players for the action.
“I don’t think you can disrespect our country, our flag, our national anthem,” Trump said in September 2017. “Many (military) people have died.”
Despite the controversy that resulted from Kaepernick’s protest, the cheerleader isn’t the first member of the Gold Rush cheer squad to kneel. According to Mercury News, two squad members were seen kneeling during last season’s Christmas Eve game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.