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.

“I just thought it was peaceful, respectful, constitutionally-protected free speech,” remarked Lenny Herold, 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.

“I’m just here for the game and I had no intention of doing anything divisive or doing anything, you know, important,” Herold said. “But all I did was take a picture and I just thought it was a cool moment.”

The identity of the cheerleader remained unknown late Thursday but her actions have certainly gained national attention.

The 49ers have not commented on the incident.

Comments (8)
  1. Teri Trina Pendleton says:

    I support the cheerleaders choice to take a knee. I’m very impressed by her courage! I wish more players, fans, every one would show such support.

  2. Lance Latchin says:

    Cheerleaders should do there job not put down this Great Country. She needs to be fired NOW.
    A football game is not the place to be a Ass.

    1. Deborah Hunter says:

      If one thinks that engaging in non-violent protest is being an ass, then I suppose Martin Luther King was an ass. SMH!
      The fact that this young woman is willing to risk public condemnation, her job and even being targeted by violent right-wing nut-jobs, to contribute to public awareness over police brutality and the killing of unarmed people of color makes a very brave individual.

  3. Deborah Hunter says:

    Hmm, KPIX on TV said there was a poll on their website regarding this issue. (Can’t find it.) In any event, I applaud this young woman, Kaepernick and all who take a knee. As a Caucasian, I know that I’m far, far safer in presence of the police than any person of color. This is a grave issue which MUST be addressed.
    Taking a knee is a non-violent form of protest. It’s not even civil disobedience. Only an authoritarian regime would insist that people make a huge deal over their flag and their National anthem! The hypocrisy of those on the right is astonishing -They abhor the very principles this country was founded on. Perhaps more should read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights!

  4. Elsa Blue says:

    She is disrespectful and classless. I guess she needed attention and at some point will make herself known to make sure she gets it.