SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — An unidentified cheerleader for the San Francisco 49ers was photographed kneeling during the national anthem at Thursday evening’s “Battle of the Bay” between the Oakland Raiders and the Niners at Levi’s Stadium.

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“I just thought it was peaceful, respectful, constitutionally-protected free speech,” remarked Lenny Herrold, a fan in the stands whose photo of the cheerleader was one of several that went viral on social media.

The cheerleader’s decision comes more than two years after former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem, which ignited a controversy that, often, has overshadowed the game of football.

Last May, the NFL announced a policy to fine players who take a knee then back-pedaled when challenged by the players union.


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