SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick did not stand-up during the national anthem on Friday night when the team hosted the Green Bay Packers in their 3rd preseason game.

The 49ers issued a statement following the game.

“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony,” the team said in a statement issued to PFT. “It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”

The decision by Kaepernick to not stand has caused controversy.

He spoke with Steve Wyche of the NFL and said that he won’t “stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.”

The NFL says that players are not required to stand during the national anthem but are encouraged to.

Blaine Gabbert started at quarterback in the 49ers loss to Green Bay. He has started all three games this postseason.

It was Kaepernick’s first time on the field in months. The 28-year-old missed the first few games due to a sore shoulder and arm fatigue.

Coach Chip Kelly has yet to announce who will start at quarterback for the 49ers this season. He is expected to announce his decision following the preseason.