Obama defends Colin Kaepernick, says it's his 'constitutional right' to protest
The President weighed in on the 49ers quarterback's protest while in China
Kaepernick's seen a number of people rally to his side, including a 49ers teammate in Eric Reid, a rival in Seahawks player Jeremy Lane and a famous female soccer player in Megan Rapinoe. Count the president of the United States among those that support his right to do what he wants during the national anthem.
Obama, speaking at the G20 summit in China, said he supports Kaepernick's constitutional right to sit during the anthem.
"In terms of Mr. Kaepernick, I have to confess I haven't been thinking about football when I've been over here. And I haven't been following this closely, but my understanding at least is he's exercising his constitutional right to make a statement," Obama said. "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 holds for our men and women and those who fought for us, that is a tough thing for them to get past, to then hear what his deeper concerns are.
"But I don't doubt his sincerity based on what I've heard. I think he cares about some real, legitimate issues that have to be talked about. And if nothing else, what he's done is he's generated more conversation around some topics that need to be talked about."
The Kaepernick debate is a heated one, and it doesn't have an easy answer. People can be understandably upset about Kap refusing to acknowledge the American flag, especially those who served for America's military.
But there are also plenty of military members who support Kaepernick's cause.
And one thing remains above all else: the 49ers backup quarterback has the unalienable right to do whatever he chooses when the national anthem is played. America is about freedom and nothing is more free than the option to do whatever you want.
Pick Six Newsletter
Get the day's big stories + fun stuff you love like mock drafts, picks and power rankings.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated the entire 2020 NFL season 10,000 times.
Judon is now officially locked in for the 2020 season
The Panthers' defensive reconstruction continues
Both are going to have a chance to start right away
The NFL once again had a chance to take a step forward and they chose not to
Goodell says they are working to get players in facilities soon as well
Here's the perfect way to keep track of all your schedule leaks and updates in one place
CBS Sports is bringing you live updates and analysis as the 2020 NFL Draft wraps up on Saturday
Live scores, highlights and updates from the Jaguars vs. Colts football game