President Barack Obama praises Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand for the the national anthem at football games, saying that the 49ers quarterback is protesting “real legitimate issues.”
“Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, it is absolutely Colin Kaepernick’s right as an American citizen to not salute the flag and to not stand while our National Anthem is played. And yes, he is exercising his right to free speech while doing so. But it is pathetically sad, to see a young man who has been made fabulously wealthy in this great nation of ours for throwing a pigskin football, to then spit in the face of the country that has been so good to him. Hey Colin, if America is so bad, then give back your millions and get out.
“My understanding, at least, is he is exercising his constitutional right to make a statement, I think there is a long history of sports figures doing so,” Obama said, when asked about Kaepernick’s protest.
Obama made his remarks during a press conference in China at the G-20 world leader’s summit.
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) September 5, 2016
Obama admitted that it was “tough thing” for people to see Kaepernick disrespect the flag and the people that served in the military, but then he defended it.
“I don’t doubt his sincerity, based on what I’ve heard,” Obama said. “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 about some topics that need to be talked about.”
Obama cited his preference for an “active citizenry” rather than Americans sitting on the sidelines.
“Sometimes that’s messy and controversial and it gets people angry and frustrated,” he said. “But I’d rather have young people that are engaged with the argument and trying to think through how they can be part of our democratic process than people that are just sitting on the sidelines and not paying attention at all.”
Obama appeared optimistic that Kaepernick would likely “refine” his thinking about his protest, allowing critics of his position to see his side of he issue.
“Maybe his critics will start seeing that he has a point around certain concerns about justice and equality and that’s how we move forward,” he said. “Sometimes it’s messy but that’s how democracy works.” source