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Colin Kaepernick's revelation Tuesday that he has received death threats through "a couple different avenues" took many by surprise - including the San Francisco 49ers and local police.
Amid his national anthem protest, the quarterback said he didn't alert team security and he's "not too concerned about it."
"I can confirm that to this point we haven’t received any reports and aren’t investigating any allegations of threats against Mr. Kaepernick,” Captain Wahid Kazem, spokesperson for Santa Clara (Calif.) Police Department, told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. Santa Clara is the area of jurisdiction for Levi’s Stadium — home of the 49ers — as well as the team’s training facility.
In a statement to USA TODAY Sports, the 49ers confirmed that they weren't aware of any threats until Kaepernick told local media Tuesday.
"The safety of our players, staff and those who visit our facilities are of the utmost importance," said Bob Lange, spokesperson for the Niners. "We investigate and evaluate any and all security threats and act accordingly."
When asked if extra security measures would be taken to ensure Kaepernick's safety, the team replied: "We do not share the particulars of our security practices and protocols."
Prentice Danner, spokesperson for the FBI’s field office in San Francisco, told USA TODAY Sports that Santa Clara police would be the lead investigating agency for any threats.
“We have our ear to the ground and we are aware of the situation,” Danner said. “We are aware of the situation. We don’t have anything yet. That’s not to say something won’t come down that we'd pursue.”
During the preseason, Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem, a move he said is meant to draw attention to racial inequality and police brutality.
The protest sparked national debate, with many criticizing Kaepernick for a perceived disrespect of the flag, country and military.
“It’s something they either don’t care about it or they don’t understand it, which I find it very hard that people don’t understand what’s going on,” said Kaepernick, who was taunted by fans during Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers. “I think the message has been out there loud and clear for quite some time now."