Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports



San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer would love to focus on football, especially with his team winless going into a game on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. However, he also knows that what is happening around the NFL is bigger than football and must be discussed.

By discussing the protests and the intentions behind them with his teammates, Hoyer feels he has gained a better understanding of their views. The 49ers quarterback spoke to the media on Wednesday afternoon. Minutes earlier, head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters he anticipated the team doing something on Sunday, but that a decision on what exactly the 49ers would do had not yet been agreed upon.

"Because I don't want to kneel for the national anthem doesn't mean that I can't support my teammate and brother that feels like he wants to," Hoyer said. "So, I think whatever we do, we're going to do as a team. I think that's the great thing about America. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, entitled to do what they want to do. I think the one problem is, a lot of people, if you have a different opinion, you dislike them or you hate them because they don't see things the way you do."

Hoyer went on to explain that the majority will not force somebody to do something he doesn't want to do, but instead, find a way to support those who do want to do something.

The 49ers quarterback was asked if the time and energy being spent surrounding the protests is a distraction.

"Well, I'd like to spend it on football but I think it's an important thing that is ongoing and especially when it gets called out by the President," Hoyer responded. "I think you have to address it. You have to go in with some sort of plan. I think you saw that around the league. Teams went out with some sort of plan, whether it was staying in the locker room or like what Dallas did the other night.

"It's unfortunate when we want to focus on football, you have to take time away to do it but I think it's needed. You have to sit down and have a discussion on the table and say, 'Well, how do you see it and what do you want to do?' And then, that way, like I said, we can go out and show a united front as a team."

Hoyer went on to explain that playing in the NFL has given him a perspective that most might not have. He said having teammates who are so different than himself has helped to teach acceptance of other perspectives – whether he agrees with them or not.

The massive protests around the NFL on Sunday that continued into Monday night's game between the Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys were prompted by comments made by President Trump as he spoke at a campaign rally in Huntsville, Alabama on Friday night.

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners," said the President, "when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he's fired. He's fired!'"

The comments were followed by cheers from the crowd in attendance.

"You know some owner is going to do that," Trump continued. "He's going to say, 'That guy disrespects our flag; he's fired.' And that owner, they don't know it. They're friends of mine, many of them. They'll be the most popular person, for a week. They'll be the most popular person in this country."

Owners around the NFL joined their players in protest during Week 3. The 49ers last played on Thursday night, prior to the comments made by President Trump, so they did not participate in the expanded protests throughout the league.

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