San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, has come under a lot of heat and scrutiny lately for refusing to stand during the playing of the national anthem. Kaepernick states racial injustice as his reason for protesting.
In a press conference on Monday, President Obama showed support for Kaepernick when asked about the quarterback and the backlash he’s met.
“[H]e’s following his constitutional right to make a statement,” Obama said at a press conference in Hangzhou, China, responding to a question about the quarterback. “I think there’s a long history of sports figures doing so.”
The president added, “I don’t doubt his sincerity. I think he cares about some real, legitimate issues that have to be talked about. And if nothing else, he’s generated some conversation around some topics that need to be talked about it.”
Kaepernick has refused to stand for the pre-game playing of the national anthem, citing racial injustice and the oppression of minorities in America.
At Monday’s press conference, Obama reiterated his call for an “active citizenry” and praised the 28-year-old professional athlete for speaking out: “I would 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.”