An NFL quarterback is stirring up controversy with his actions.
San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick did not stand up during the national anthem before his game over the weekend.
That's sparking mixed reaction throughout the nation, and here in the Sioux Empire.
"I just think its a real slap in the face for him not to show the respect that you should for what he fought for,” says Sioux Falls resident Barb Ewoldt.
Ewoldt's brother has 20 years of military service under his belt.
She says standing up for the national anthem is a unified way for everyone to say thank you to all military members.
"It just really hurts when you see people that want to disrespect our country that way,” she adds, and she's not alone in that opinion.
"There are too many good things that the flag and the national anthem stand for, and I thought it was very wrong,” says Sioux Falls resident Jim Snyder.
NFL San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick says the reason why he’s sitting during the anthem is to stand-up against racial injustice that he feels exists in the United States.
"If there would be anything that I would agree on, we in this country have to understand that we have issues that we have to resolve,” says University of Sioux Falls Head Football Coach Jed Stugart.
Stugart says the reason behind Kaepernick's decision isn't the problem; it's the way he chose to express it.
"Use your resources, use your clout to go form a focus group or something, and bring true awareness to something.”
Stugart says the national anthem is a time to express gratitude.
That’s why standing up during the song is something he encourages his players to do every game.
"That forum is to represent a flag that a lot of blood shed has been given for our freedoms,” says Stugart.
As far as whether any USF players will be following Kaepernick's suit, Stugart says that is unlikely.
In a statement, the 49ers called the national anthem a "special part of the pregame ceremony" and "an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens," but the team says it respects the right of an individual not to participate.