The San Francisco 49ers' most recent game took place Thursday, a full day before President Trump called for NFL players who sit or kneel during the national anthem to be "fired."
So, the 49ers' first chance to react to Trump's comments on the field will come Sunday afternoon when they face the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. On Wednesday, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said his team will likely take advantage of that opportunity.
“I anticipate us doing something together. I think that’s what it’s really about. I’m not exactly sure what," Shanahan said, according to sfgate.com.
"The players are talking about that. They are going to think of the best thing they want to do. And whatever we decide, we decide to do it together.”
Shanahan said he was "bothered" by Trump's comments and suggested Trump isn't representing the office of the president as well as he'd expect.
"You expect that position to be the best leader possible. When I think of being a leader, I think of bringing people together. All I know is the quotes I read. And when I read those quotes, I think that’s the opposite of what you expect," Shanahan told sfgate.com, adding "it definitely bothered me, especially when he’s calling out people that you’re associated with."
A former San Francisco 49er, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, was the first to take a knee during the national anthem, before a preseason game in 2016. He continued to kneel throughout the 2016 season. Kaepernick explained he chose to kneel in order to promote racial equality and protest police brutality against minorities. Kaepernick is currently a free agent after opting out of his contract with the 49ers in March.
Dozens of players choose to stand or kneel during the national anthem before last weekend's NFL games. The Cardinals stood and linked arms in the south end zone before their game vs. the Cowboys in Glendale on Monday night. The Cowboys collectively took a knee before returning to the sideline and standing during the anthem.