ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — The San Francisco 49ers are Buffalo bound. The west coast team, being led by QB Colin Kaepernick, is looking for their first win since week one. They’ve made national headlines this season — not for their action on the field but because of what is going on on their sidelines during the National Anthem.
“The national anthem is a big deal,” said Patrick Zimmerman, a Bills season ticketholder.
Kaepernick has been kneeling when the anthem is being played. It’s sparked controversy and started conversations around the nation, including here in Buffalo.
“I think it shows he’s patriotic,” said Caitlin Blue, another Bills fan. “That’s what the foundation of this country shows. America was created on a protest.”
“It’s disrespectful; it’s wrong to kneel during the anthem,” said CJ Zimmerman.
Those two opposing viewpoints will be coming to a head when the Bills and Niners go head-to-head at New Era Field on Sunday.
“When Colin Kaepernick comes in to our house, he needs to show respect,” said CJ, who is leading a movement for fans inside the stadium to sing the anthem. “I want the focus to be on the 12th man singing the anthem extraordinarily loud.”
Zimmerman’s Facebook post calling for that movement has garnered a lot of attention and numerous shares around different Buffalo Bills groups.
“We’re unified, patriotic,” said Zimmerman. “We need to show that to him [Kaepernick] we’re not going to stand for that.”
Outside of the stadium during the anthem, a much different movement is being planned.
“We’re taking a knee during the National Anthem, showing solidarity with Colin Kaepernick,” said Blue, a member of the social justice group Just Resisting. “I hope our movement wakes people that there’s a lot of work that needs to be done.”
Two different groups, two different actions, showing what they believe in.
“Everybody should be showing respect,” said Zimmerman.
“I love america so much that I criticize her because I want her to do better for the people on this land,” said Blue.