By Mary Cunningham

Chip Kelly is a lot of things:

Controversial.

Maniacal.

Driven.

Let’s add loyal!

San Francisco 49ers coach Kelly said yesterday that Colin Kaepernick’s protest during the national anthem is bringing attention to an issue that needs addressing.

“You look at what’s gone on in Tulsa and Charlotte the last two nights, it’s an issue that’s at the forefront of our country,” Kelly said. “It needs to be addressed, it needs to be taken care of. Because what’s going on is not right. So, I think, again, (Kaepernick) is shedding light on the situation that is heinous and shouldn’t happen in this country. We all have inalienable rights as a citizen of this country. They’re being violated and that’s what I think Colin is standing up for.”

The 49ers’ backup quarterback became a polarizing figure when his protest became public following a preseason game against the Packers on Aug. 26, when he sat on the bench during the national anthem in protest of racial oppression and police brutality. Kaepernick has since begun kneeling during the anthem instead of sitting and has been joined by several other NFL players and scores of high school and college players who have picked up the cause. Kaepernick has also pledged to donate $1 million to organizations supporting his cause of racial equality.