Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane sat on a bench as the national anthem played before a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night.
After the game, he said he did it in support of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who made national headlines for refusing to stand during the anthem last week to protest racial injustice and police brutality.
“I don’t mean no disrespect to anybody,’’ he told the Seattle Times. “I’m just standing behind what I believe in.’’ He said that, like Kaepernick, he will not stand “until I feel like justice is being served.”
Lane is in his fifth year with the Seahawks after re-signing with the team during the offseason, ESPN reported.
Kaepernick had not stood for the song during two previous games, although the protest went unnoticed, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
On Thursday, he stood as a giant American flag was unfurled before a preseason game against the Chargers in San Diego. When the anthem played, Kaepernick dropped to a knee, USA Today reported.
Last week, the NFL announced that players are “encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem.”
UPDATE: This story has been updated with information from Lane about why he declined to stand during the national anthem.