National anthem traditions are now under the microscope following Colin Kaepernick's decision to sit during The Star-Spangled Banner.
Kaepernick made headlines recently when he sat on his team's bench during the singing of the national anthem.
Kaepernick said he made the decision to do so as a way to bring attention to how America “oppresses black people and people of color.”
Many have voiced strong opposition to Kaepernick's decision, however, anthem traditions are now being questioned in response.
During Kansas City Chiefs games at Arrowhead Stadium, it is tradition for fans to chant "Home of the Chiefs" at the end of the anthem.
Prior to the Chiefs' preseason game on Thursday night, 41 Action News spoke to fans about the tradition and Kaepernick's decision.
"I think it's a disgrace to our national anthem by [Kaepernick] not doing something," explained Independence resident Vicky Schraufanagel, who attended Thursday night's game to cheer for the Green Bay Packers.
"I think Colin Kaepernick is a coward," said Chiefs fan Zeke Montana. "The people who say 'Chiefs' at the end are not making some kind of a statement. They're just having fun."
Debate on the topic struck a much different tone with some veterans and parents of active servicemen.
Tim Oarmen, a father of two active servicemen, defended the Chiefs tradition and said it was much different than Kaepernick's decision to not stand during the anthem.
"Home of the Chiefs is a local tradition. It's not done everywhere," he explained. "My boys are fighting for the freedom for Colin Kaepernick to [sit.] That's why I have to say I respect his decision. I don't have to agree with it."
Others in the Arrowhead parking lot on Thursday night said they supported Kaepernick's decision not to stand.
"He is standing up for something that's going on with this world, and I respect that," explained Chiefs fan Ronnie Gooden.
Gooden added that the Chiefs chant during the anthem doesn't compare to what Kaepernick is doing.
"The Chiefs [chant] is just about us being in Kansas City and that's it," he said. "It's not personal against veterans or anything like that."
As the debate continues over national anthem traditions, Kaepernick's decision reminded Air Force veteran Mark Barefoot why he served.
"I don't agree [with the decision to sit,] but Mr. Kaepernick chose to make his expression and I appreciate that," Barefoot explained. "You get the freedom of speech. That's what we protected. That's what we protect is our rights."
Tom Dempsey can be reached at Tom.Dempsey@KSHB.com.