President Obama Weighs in on Kaepernick: ‘He’s Exercising His Constitutional Right’
The Colin Kaepernick issue has transcended sports to the point that President Barack Obama is weighing in. During a Labor Day press conference from the G20 Summit, Obama spoke out in favor of the embattled San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who has been under fire in recent weeks for refusing to stand for the pregame playing of the national anthem.
“He’s exercising his constitutional right to make a statement,” said Obama. “I think there is a long history of sports figures doing so.” Obama continued his remarks with, “I don’t doubt his sincerity. I think he cares about some real legitimate issues that have to be talked about. If nothing else, what he’s done is he’s generated more conversation around some topics that need to be talked about.” He went on to frame Kaepernick through the larger prism of political engagement, espousing, “I’d rather have young people who are engaged in the argument and trying to think through how they can be part of our democratic process than people who are just sitting on the sidelines and not paying attention at all.” Obama also had words about the controversy that’s sprung up around the athlete’s actions, saying that his… “suspicion is, is that over time he’s (Kaepernick) gonna (sic) refine how he’s thinking about it, and maybe some of his critics will start seeing that he has a point around certain concerns about justice and equality, and that’s how we move forward. Sometimes it’s messy, but, you know, that’s the way democracy works.” President Obama hasn’t been the only one to stick up for Kaepernick in the last few days. During the last round of NFL preseason games several players joined Kaepernick’s protest, as did players in other sports, such as U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe. The 49ers QB also seems to have some support amongst the public, as sales of Kaepernick’s jersey have skyrocketed to the #1 position of all NFL players.
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