San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has ignited a controversy that is testing the limits of patriotism and free speech, and several well-known Americans – including Donald Trump – are speaking out.
Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem over the weekend prior to a preseason game.
“I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand,” he said in a Niners Wire story.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was asked about the controversy during an interview Monday.
“I think it’s personally not a good thing,” Trump said on The Dori Monson Show. “I think it’s a terrible thing, and you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him. Let him try, it won’t happen.”
Kaepernick, who criticized both Trump and Hillary Clinton, claims his actions are a protest against racism and what he sees as oppression.
“I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country,” Kaepernick said. “I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. 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. That’s something that’s not happening.’
Kaepernick said his protest will continue.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
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