Quarterback Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers decided not to stand up for the National Anthem of "a country that oppresses Black people and people of color." It was a bold move that's earned the support of many, from his fellow football players, to J. Cole and Trey Songz, to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and even President Barack Obama.
On the other hand, a whole lot of people weren't so happy. U.S. Representative Steve King is one of those people.
In an interview on Tuesday with Newsmax's Steve Malzberg, the Republican Congressman accused Kaepernick of "taking advantage" of his status as an NFL player and "undermining patriotism." If King were the coach, he said, Kaepernick would not "set foot out on this field again" until the quarterback "beg[s] forgiveness from the American people."
He didn't stop there, though. Oh no. He brought Kaepernick's girlfriend into the mix too.
King said, "I understand that he has an Islamic girlfriend that is his fiancee and that this has changed him and has taken on some different political views along the way."
Then, King went even further, "This is activism that's sympathetic to ISIS," referring to the infamous terrorist group.
Kaepernick's girlfriend—not fiancee—is Nessa Diab, a radio and TV personality. She does practice Islam, but Kaepernick does not, despite rumors to the contrary. While he has "great respect for the religion," Kaepernick dismissed rumors of his conversion earlier this month by saying, "I think that [the rumor] comes along with people’s fear of this protest, as well as Islamophobia in this country."
Of course, King has a history saying stuff like this and has made Islamophobic comments in the past. Earlier this summer, the Iowan, who displays a Confederate Flag on his desk, questioned if people of color have ever contributed anything to civilization.