(ABC7) Bay Area athletes have a long history of activism, from the 1968 Mexico City Olympics where San Jose State sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists in a black power protest to Colin Kaepernick’s refusing to stand for the national anthem.

Athletes have a platform to promote issues, though their message or action doesn’t always sit well with fans.

“They have the opportunity to use free speech, but there are also consequences that come with that, and I think Colin saw some of that this year. He obviously put himself out there on a limb, and there were negative things to him,” said Jed York, the CEO of the San Francisco 49ers.

He was among a group outspoken pro-sport stars gathered on Tuesday to discuss the future of activism by players.

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