Meanwhile, at the G20 summit President Obama also spoke out about NFL 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been refusing to stand for the national anthem after saying, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.” This is President Obama on Kaepernick.
President Barack Obama: “He’s exercising his constitutional right to make a statement. I think there’s a long history of sports figures doing so. I think there are a lot of ways you can do it. 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 who fought for us, you know, that is a tough thing for them to get past to then hear what his deeper concerns are.”
At least two other NFL players have joined Kaepernick in his ongoing protest: 49ers safety Eric Reid and Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane. Megan Rapinoe of the National Women’s Soccer League team the Seattle Reign also knelt during the national anthem before their game Sunday against the Chicago Red Stars. Rapinoe told American Soccer Now, “Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties. It was something small that I could do and something that I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation around it. It’s important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this.”