President Obama has given his opinion about the Colin Kaepernick controversy.
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback chose to sit during the National Anthem to bring light to racial injustice. The president said that Kaepernick's silent protest was his "constitutional right," though he maintained that it could be viewed negatively by many audiences, particularly service members and those associated with law enforcement.
"As a general matter, when it comes to the flag, and the National Anthem and the meaning that that holds for our men and women in uniform and those that fought for us - that is a tough thing for them to get past, to then hear what his deeper concerns are," President Obama said, voicing his concern that criticism of Kaepernick's methods would overshadow his concerns about inequality.
The president said he believes that the quarterback was sincere:
"I think he cares about some real, legitimate issues that need to be talked about and, if nothing else, what he's done is generated more conversation about some topics that need to be talked about."
Though Obama referred to the protest as "messy," he said that he would much rather see young Americans "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 not paying attention at all."
Kaepernick carried out the protest before the media's attention, then gave an interview after the initial story swept the nation. There, Kaepernick said that he has an enormous amount of respect for service members, and that their sacrifices allowed him to take the stance that he did:
I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. They fight for freedom. They fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice for everyone. And that's not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn't holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody. It's something that's not happening. I've seen videos. I've seen circumstances where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they fought for and have been murdered by the country they fought for, on our land. That's not right.
(H/T Fox News)
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