Colin Kaepernick gets support from President Obama

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) was supported by President Obama regarding his decision to not stand for the national anthem. (Jim Gensheimer/Bay Area News Group)

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) was supported by President Obama regarding his decision to not stand for the national anthem. (Jim Gensheimer/Bay Area News Group)

Colin Kaepernick has the leader of the free world on his side.

Speaking at a news conference in Hangzhou, China Monday, President Barack Obama defended Kaepernick’s decision not to stand for the national anthem.

“He’s following his constitutional right to make a statement,” Obama said. “I think there’s a long history of sports figures doing so.”

While Obama conceded he hadn’t been following sports much recently, he had little doubt Kaepernick meant what he said regarding his views on racial oppression in America.

“I don’t doubt his sincerity. I think he cares about some real, legitimate issues that have to be talked about,” Obama said. “And if nothing else, he’s generated some conversation around some topics that need to be talked about.”

Calling for an “active citizenry,” Obama praised Kaepernick for speaking out.

“I think there’s a lot of ways you can do it,” Obama said. “As a general matter when it comes to the flag and the national anthem and the meaning that it holds for our men and women in uniform and those who fought for us, that is a tough thing for them to get past, to then hear what his deeper concerns are.

“Maybe some of his critics will start seeing he has a point around certain concerns around justice and equality.”

Obama’s views on Kaepernick are in sharp contrast to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who said on a Seattle radio station that “maybe he should find a new country that works for him. It won’t happen.”

Vice presidential candidate Gov. Mike Pence (Indiana-R), disagreed with Kaepernick in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” but didn’t share his running mate’s feelings about the quarterback finding another country.”My late father was a combat veteran,” Pence said. “My dad used to say, ‘I may disagree with everything you say, but I’ll fight to the death for your right to say it.’ Mr. Kaepernick has every right to be wrong _ but he’s completely in the wrong.”

As yet, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has not weighed in on Kaepernick’s stance.

Kaepernick told reporters on Aug. 28 that while the country had elected a black president “a lot of things haven’t changed. There are a lot of issues that haven’t been addressed. And that’s something over an eight-year term. There’s a lot of those things that are hard to change and there’s a lot of those things he doesn’t necessarily have complete control over.”

Regarding Trump and Clinton, Kaepernick said both “currently represent the issue that we have in the country right now . . . you have Hillary who has called black teens or black kids super predators. You have Donald Trump who’s openly racist. I mean, we have a candidate (in Clinton) who’s deleted emails and done things illegally as a presidential candidate. That doesn’t make sense to me, because if that was any other person, you’d be in prison.”

— Sales of Kaepernick’s jersey have jumped to No. 3 in the NFL since his protest, according to, trailing only Dallas rookie Ezekiel Elliott and New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

According to the 49ers Web site, Kaepernick’s jersey is the top seller on the team. It was the sixth-best seller before the protest.

More Kaepernick gear has been sold in the past week than the previous eight months combined, ESPN reported.


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