A cheerleader for the San Francisco 49ers took a knee during the national anthem on Thursday night, taking the protest against racial inequality first started by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to a whole new level. The cheerleader has not yet been named and has not spoken publicly about her decision to join the protest, but photos of her kneeling with pompoms at her sides ahead of the 49ers game against the Oakland Raiders made waves on social media, where the move appeared to reignite debate over the protest. Numerous NFL players have taken part in the anthem protest since Kaepernick first took a knee in 2016, and the protest’s growing popularity among players prompted the league to consider disciplining teams whose athletes participate. The protest spread to soccer, basketball, and baseball, as well as college and high-school teams, but this appears to be the first time a cheerleader has joined in.
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