Colin Kaepernick’s much anticipated on-field debut against Buffalo was decidedly unimpressive. He finished 13-29 for 187 yards and a touchdown in San Francisco’s 29-point blowout loss. The Bills crushed the Niners, 45-16 for their fourth win of the season.
Buffalo is always a rowdy fan base, but they clearly dialed up the intensity for Kaepernick, in light of his now famous anthem protest.
The scene ahead of kickoff, as documented on social media, was pretty ugly in some instances. It was an ideological away game as much as a road game for San Francisco. Less-than-expert prognosticators could have foreseen this happening.
An unsettling t-shirt featuring Kaepernick in the rifle cross-hairs was being sold outside the stadium for $10.
Shirts with a rifle scope trained on Colin Kaepernick selling for $10 outside of Ralph Wilson stadium. pic.twitter.com/bSuxF3G5qq
— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) October 16, 2016
Outside of the stadium a group of fans dressed up a dummy in a Kaepernick jersey and wig to chants of “tackle the muslim”.
Other protesters gathered to show their support for Kaepernick, although, based on the eyeball test, they were outnumbered by his detractors.
— UPROXX Sports (@UPROXXSports) October 16, 2016
As Kaepernick knelt for his national anthem protest, the crowd at Ralph Wilson broke out in chants of “USA! USA!”
Kaepernick’s unspectacular on-field performance may not afford him very many more starts, but the scene in Buffalo is an illustration of how ideologically polarizing Kaepernick is as a symbol, regardless of what side of the line you fall.
If anything, it’s a snapshot in time.