Why this photo of NFL cheerleaders has caused controversy

A San Francisco 49ers cheerleader continues to cause a major stir in America.

On November 1, the cheerleader took a knee during the national anthem ahead of the team’s matchup with the Oakland Raiders.

She was later identified as Kayla Morris of Antioch, California, a second-year member of the 49ers’ Gold Rush cheer squad.

Morris declined to discuss protest

Both Morris and the 49ers declined media requests to discuss her kneeling, and some wondered if the act of protest would cost Morris her spot on the team.

It did not.

On Monday (local time), the 49ers had a second-consecutive prime time matchup on “Monday Night Football”, a loss to the New York Giants.

Kayla Morris kneeled again on Monday. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Morris back on the field, kneels again

Morris was on the field with her Gold Rush teammates prior to the game, and for the second-straight game, she took a knee during the national anthem.

While fans in the stands noticed her kneeling the first time, professional Getty photographers were ready to snap a closeup on Monday.

Morris is the first known NFL cheerleader to take on the stance of NFL players who have knelt during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and social injustice.

Morris kneels again alongside her teammates. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Her protest Monday took place the day after Veterans Day as the NFL has spent the week celebrating the US military.

The timing drew the ire of critics who associate player protests with a form of disrespect of the military.

However some commended her on her brave stance.

Protests have nothing to do with military

Players have made clear that their protests have nothing to do with the military, but are intended to promote change that is needed to achieve a more just society.

The national anthem and American flag are associated with the US military, but both symbols represent much more.

They stand for the nation as a whole, military and civilian, and players have chosen the platform to raise awareness of wrongs that plague US society.

The protest is an NFL cheerleader first . (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The 49ers have declined to make an active statement on Morris’ kneeling.

The fact that she remains on the team and remains kneeling is a tacit acknowledgement from the 49ers that they are not standing in her way.

Jason Owens – Yahoo Sports