By NICOLE HARTESONA SAN FRANCISCO — As a former 49ers player, the former captain of the San Francisco 49ers and a former national anthem singer, it was not always easy to feel at home in the Bay Area.
But the city of San Francisco, one of the richest and most influential cities in the United States, has become a magnet for fans of the 49er brand, who are fed up with the team’s decision to boycott the Super Bowl and other big events because of racial inequality and police brutality.
Nowhere is that feeling more apparent than in the 49s’ decision to stop playing at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, and host a live broadcast at AT&T Stadium in San Francisco on Sunday, where the national anthem will be played.
The national anthem is the centerpiece of the game, and the 49’s owners have not yet decided what to do with it after President Donald Trump said he would ban the anthem.
The decision by the 49 players to boycott is a signal of the anger and frustration many Americans feel in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election.
But the 49 are not the only team to do so.
The New York Yankees have also decided to skip the Superbowl in protest, and several other NFL teams have also refused to play in the week leading up to the national championship game.
And the backlash continues on social media.
A Twitter account belonging to the 49-year-old former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose protests against police brutality and racial inequality have brought the NFL to its knees, posted a video Sunday showing fans of his team, including 49ers fans, booing.
The video shows fans chanting and clapping at the 49, and players standing in front of the building.
It is a clear signal that fans feel left out and ignored by the league, which has spent more than $1 billion to buy a new stadium for the San Jose 49ers, a team that has played in the San Diego Chargers’ stadium since 1984.
On Sunday, some fans even made fun of Kaepernick, who is black, on social video.
“Don’t boo the 49ERS.
They’re not going to boo us, you can’t boo them,” said one.
The 49ers’ decision was met with scorn from some fans.
Many of them shared their thoughts on Twitter and on Facebook, including one who called the move “ridiculous.”
“There are more important things to be concerned about than the 49 on this Sunday than how many black fans are going to be booing Colin Kaepernick,” tweeted Chris Bostick, who runs a website for fans to discuss the 49.
“If you’re not rooting for your team, you’re cheering on a team for which you were never even a part,” Bostik said.
The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper also posted a picture of 49ers players kneeling during the national anthems before the game.
The team is not commenting on the photo.
In the wake of the NFL’s boycott of the Superdome in New Orleans last year, which drew thousands of protesters to the stadium, 49ers owner Jed York declared his team would stay in San Diego for at least the next four years.
“The 49er Nation has shown a deep desire to play at home.
That desire is not going anywhere, and we will continue to play here in San Jose,” York said in a statement at the time.
“We will work to get this right.
This will be the last Super Bowl at Levi Stadium.
It will be our last chance to make our city proud.
This is a team decision that will continue until we make it right.”
The 49 are one of many teams to take the same position.
San Francisco’s 49ers will play at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium next season, after a three-year absence.