On this fraught political local weather, many Republican politicians, together with former President Donald J. Trump, have accused Kaepernick and different athletes who kneel throughout the anthem of disrespecting the navy, although Boyer really useful the gesture and Kaepernick has stated repeatedly that that’s not his intent.
Boyer, on a current phone name, stated he understood that some individuals noticed it as disrespectful. “However what I don’t perceive,” he stated, “what actually frustrates me, is why individuals can’t have a special perspective on that, and nonetheless respect one another.”
He continued: “Every little thing appears so by hook or by crook, all or nothing, proper now. That’s simply not what that flag represents to me. I don’t assume it represents that to lots of people.”
The N.F.L. didn’t reply to requests for remark from Commissioner Roger Goodell about reveals of patriotism within the sport.
Few athletes joined Kaepernick’s preliminary protest.
Bruce Maxwell, a catcher for the Oakland Athletics whose father served within the navy, became the first Major League Baseball player to kneel throughout the anthem in 2017.
“I did it as a result of it was what was proper,” Maxwell stated, including, “I used to be standing up for myself. I used to be standing up for my household. I used to be standing up for the individuals who couldn’t be heard and/or haven’t been heard.”
By the summer time of 2020, when waves of athletes protested after the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, kneeling was widespread in sports activities and virtually common within the N.B.A. and the W.N.B.A. In a whiplash reversal, athletes like the previous New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who referred to as kneeling “disrespecting the flag,” acquired criticism for his or her assist of the patriotic exhibitions.