SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --From his choice of socks, to sitting out the national anthem, Colin Kaepernick is attracting controversy for his stance against racial oppression in America and he'll get his biggest stage Thursday night.
This is the 49ers final preseason game and they're playing in San Diego on what the Chargers promote as Military Night.
Nearly 240 members of the military will present the flag ahead of Thursday night's game. Despite that, Kaepernick is expected to sit, once again, during the national anthem.
The struggling Bay Area athlete has stirred national debate.
"We're football fans, we come out here for the game, this is kind of a distraction, so a lot of people are going to be here, alot of the media is going to be here," said 49ers fan Priscilla Bravo.
The San Diego Chargers will present their 28th annual salute to the military. Kaepernick will take the field, fighting for a starting spot, while others try to put him in check.
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Kaepernick has been scrutinized following his decision to sit for the national anthem during the preseason, a protest he says against the oppression of minorities.
Many have called his actions disgraceful, including Navy veteran Michael Saenz.
"When you're not standing for the national anthem, and you live in the greatest country in the world, it's a slap in the face to not only to the nation but to the Military that fought for it to give you that right," Saenz said.
Others say that Kaepernick has started a deeper conversation about race relations in the United States.
"A lot of people of different races that are dying for our flag overseas, but I understand, growing up in South Central Los Angeles, seeing how the police have treated us, I understand what he's doing. So So, yes, I support him, 100 percent," said 49ers fan Michael Hall.
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Blaine Gabbert is expected to start as quarterback when the regular season begins next week, but a lot of attention could still be focused on Kaepernick.
Hundreds of thousands of Military personnel live in the San Diego area. It'll be very interesting to see how the crowd responds to Kaepernick.
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