Though critics continue to disagree with an NFL player’s protest, the sales of his jersey say otherwise. Colin Kaepernick’s San Francisco 49ers apparel sales have spiked as President Barack Obama spoke on the matter. The quarterback has refused to rise for the national anthem since pre-season games began in August.
A Seattle Times reporter initially broke the news of the uptick in Kaepernick’s jersey sales on Twitter. Number 7’s uniform is now the top seller on the 49er’s website. Two weeks ago it ranked at number 20.
A women’s game jersey and a white, men’s top are the number four and five best-sellers, respectively.
Additionally, the footballer’s shirt is the fifth-best selling spot on NFL Shop. Two days ago it sat at the eighth position, according to ABC News.
Fans have shown their support on Twitter, posting photos of themselves in the apparel.
Etan Thomas bought one for himself and his child. He shared that his 11-year-old had a greater understanding of its meaning.
Got my 11yr old a #Kaepernick jersey he says "I'll wear it proudly for reasons much bigger than football"
— Etan Thomas (@etanthomas36) September 5, 2016
Concert-goers spotted rapper J.Cole in the jersey, too.
J. Cole wearing a Kaepernick shirt, i am so here for this. pic.twitter.com/qPp1b62SEM
— Oga Jabhead ☥ (@Kayiculture) September 5, 2016
As many have voiced their opinion on Kaepernick’s protest – he now kneels instead of sitting to show military respect – Obama chimed in as well.
“My understanding of it at least is he’s exercising his constitutional right to make a statement. I think there’s a long history of sports figures doing so. I think there are a lot of ways you can do it,” he said at a press conference during the G20 summit meeting in Hangzhou, China.
However, he acknowledged Kaepernick’s stance may be challenging for the military to get behind.
“As a general matter, when it comes to the flag and the national anthem and the meaning that holds for our men and women in uniform and those who fought for us – that is a tough thing for them to get past.”
Other sports stars have also aligned with the recently political 49er.
Kaepernick’s teammate Eric Reid and Seattle Seahawks player Jeremy Lane protested the U.S. anthem, too.
Both Reid and Kaepernick took a knee during a Sept. 1 game against the San Diego Chargers.
“I think it would be foolish if you were to say there isn’t an issue in this country with minorities,” Reid told CBS SF of his teammate, echoing his reasons for the protest. “There’s a million issues in America and this is something he feels strongly about and I respect him for voicing his opinion on it.”
That same day when facing the Oakland Raiders, Lane remained seated on the bench rather than standing.
The movement also spread to another sport: soccer. Megan Rapinoe of the Seattle Reign kneeled during the Sept. 4 game against the Chicago Red Stars.