Colin Kaepernick was booed Sunday in Buffalo when he returned to the starting line up as quarterback for San Francisco 49ers before the team was defeated by the Bills in a 45-16 blow-out.
The boos, which were the latest in the public backlash Kaepernick has received for kneeling in protest during the national anthem, didn't seem to bother the athlete.
“To be honest, I was focused on football,” Kaepernick said, according to the BBC. “I really wasn’t listening to what was going on in the stand.”
Despite scrambling for a first down and also converting on a third-and-11 with a pass to Torrey Smith early in the game, Kaepernick got off to a slow start as he missed a potential touchdown opportunity when he overthrew one of his wide receivers on a pass headed for the end zone, USA Today noted.
And even though Kaepernick didn’t bring much positive change to San Francisco’s struggling offense, he did throw his first touchdown pass in 364 days, connecting on a pass to Smith once again, where Smith was able to run for extra yardage and walk the ball in the end zone for his second touchdown of the season, BBC noted.
After the game, while nearly every other starting NFL quarterback would have been subject to questions about their performance on the field and getting blown out, Kaepernick’s off-the-field antics seemed to take precedent when he addressed the media after Sunday’s game.
Reporters asked him what he thought about those fans at Buffalo’s New Era Field that chanted “U-S-A” before the national anthem.
“I had some Bills fans come up before the game and say they support me,” Kaepernick said, according to the BBC. “At the end of the day, I’m going to continue to fight for what I’m fighting for. I think the message carries weight because people realize what’s happening — it’s something that needs to be addressed.”
The 28-year-old has recently received death threats, according to The Huffington Post, as he boldly continues to kneel before the American flag, taking a stance against the “plight of black people in the U.S.,” following racial tension and a string of police killings involving black men, which have also sparked some revenge attacks.
When asked about a claim that someone in the stands chucked a bottle at him, Kaepernick kept his response rather simple and witty.
“If they did, they didn’t have very good aim,” he said, according to the BBC.
Twitter users shared mixed reactions to Kaepernick’s return to the field on Sunday.
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