President Obama Weighs In on Colin Kaepernick's Protest During the National Anthem

President Obama says he understands Colin Kaepernick's protest during the National Anthem.

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Complex Original

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Just like us, President Obama has to work today. And during a news conference in China somebody finally got around to asking him what his thoughts are on Colin Kaepernick's silent protest(s) during pregame renditions of the National Anthem.

President Obama first said that he hadn't been thinking a whole lot about football at the moment, and also revealed that he hasn't been following the situation closely. After that, however, he gave an answer that endorsed the San Francisco quarterback's right to protest with a carefully worded response. 

"My understanding, at least, is that he's exercising his constitutional right to make a statement," he 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 that holds for our men and women in uniform, and those who fought for us." He continued,

"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."

Kaepernick was recently named the 49ers' backup quarterback, behind Blaine Gabbert, with Head Coach Chip Kelly saying his protests didn't factor into the decision.

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