Defiant, and determined to be a conduit for U.S. change, Colin Kaepernick plans to sit through the national anthem for as long as he feels is appropriate and until he sees significant progress in America ó specifically when it comes to race relations.

He knows he could be cut by San Francisco for this stand. Criticized, ostracized, and heíll go it all alone if need be.

The quarterback realizes he might be treated poorly in some road cities, and heís ready for that, too, saying heís not overly concerned about his safety, but ďif something happens thatís only proving my point.Ē

ďIím going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed,Ē Kaepernick said Sunday at his locker. ďTo me this is something that has to change. When thereís significant change and I feel like that flag represents what itís supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that itís supposed to, Iíll stand.Ē

Two days after he refused to stand for the The Star-Spangled Banner before the 49ersí preseason loss to the Packers, Kaepernick insists whatever the consequences, he will know ďI did whatís right.Ē

He said he hasnít heard from the NFL or anyone else about his actions ó and it wonít matter if he does.

ďNo oneís tried to quiet me, and, to be honest, itís not something Iím going to be quiet about,Ē he said. ďIím going to speak the truth when Iím asked about it. This isnít for look. This isnít for publicity or anything like that. This is for people that donít have the voice. And this is for people that are being oppressed and need to have equal opportunities to be successful. To provide for families and not live in poor circumstances.Ē

Ryanís support

Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan believes standing for the national anthem is a way for NFL players and coaches to show respect and give thanks to members of the armed forces.

ďYouíve got to look at the gifts that we have, the opportunity that we have to play a great game is through the men and women that serve our country,Ē Ryan said before practice on Sunday. ďAnd I think thatís an opportunity right there just to show respect.Ē

He was asked his opinion a day after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said he is refusing to stand for the anthem because he believes the United States oppresses African-Americans and other minorities.

Without mentioning Kaepernick, Ryan said he can appreciate how some players have personal or religious beliefs that lead them to not stand for the anthem.

ďAny time when I talk to our team about that, if thereís personal beliefs or whatever that keeps you from doing it, then I understand,Ē he said.

However, Ryan added, he encourages his players to stand for the anthem.

ďThatís kind of our way of giving thanks,Ē Ryan said. ďItís an important thing for me.Ē