SANTA CLARA – The 49ers on Sunday played their final game outside of California.
The team traveled to all corners of the United States, and quarterback Colin Kaepernick said he received different receptions to his protest of racial inequalities in different regions.
“I think that’s something to me that was very evident depending on where we’re playing,” Kaepernick said on Tuesday.
He said he received as much support Sunday in Atlanta as any place the 49ers have played outside of Levi's Stadium.
“Atlanta was somewhere where I had a lot of support, a lot of people saying they agree with what I’m doing, support it and are happy that I did it and to keep going and to stay strong," Kaepernick said.
“And there’s other places where the fans don’t agree as much. Buffalo, in particular, was one where that was very evident. So it shows the different cultures and different beliefs throughout this country and it also makes it very evident that there’s a difference in perspective between white America and black America.”
Kaepernick began his protest during the exhibition season by sitting on the team’s bench during the national anthem. In the final exhibition game in San Diego and for each of the 49ers’ 14 regular-season games, Kaepernick has taken a knee during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner.
The 49ers’ travels have taken the team to Charlotte, Seattle, Buffalo, Arizona, Miami, Chicago and Atlanta. The team concludes its season at Los Angeles on Saturday, then back at Levi’s Stadium for the Jan. 1 finale against the Seahawks.
Kaepernick said he received encouragement during the 49ers’ stay at the team hotel in the Buckhead region of Atlanta.
“I don’t move around too much when we’re there, but, as far as the hotel staff, the people that are around, a lot of support and a lot of people making sure they went out of their way to say that they did support it, which means a lot,” Kaepernick said. “I hope those people and people that support it use their voices more and more and speak out more and more to try to help create change.”
Buffalo was at the other end of the spectrum, Kaepernick said.
“I think volume, what I heard, things that I saw after the fact as far as in the parking lot, T-shirts, all of those things,” he said. “It was very evident that this was something that they don’t agree with, which to me I don’t understand.”
When asked what kind of affect the reactions he received would have on his future work at the community level, Kaepernick said, “I want to go where people truly want to create change and that’s somewhere that change definitely does need to be created, but I think there are better places for this to be initiated and grow from there.”