Shoe designer Steve Madden says he was “particularly upset” by President Donald Trump’s recent criticism of football player Colin Kaepernick, who kicked off a highly publicized wave of protests last year by kneeling during the National Anthem before NFL games.
In an interview with Yahoo News, Madden said that while he is rooting for Trump’s success, he opposed the president’s rebuke of Kaepernick.
“I wish him well, I do,” Madden said. “I disagree with some of the stuff that he does. I wish he was more sensitive to our less fortunate… and the racial stuff. It would be more soothing for the country. I am rooting for him to do well. You know, we’re all in the country.”
“In particular, I was particularly upset about the criticism of Colin Kaepernick,” Madden continued. “I think that his kneeling is very respectful, frankly. And there’s some injustice. And I think the beauty of the National Anthem is that we have the right to express — that’s the beauty of America. That’s what the National Anthem is all about, is that you have the right. This is not a totalitarian country. And you can’t, at the foot of a boot, be forced to salute the flag. That’s the beauty of it.”
Kaepernick, the former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, began kneeling during the National Anthem before NFL games in 2016. His protest of the country eventually trickled down to other players and NFL teams kneeling as well during the “Star Spangled Banner.”
In October, Trump said Kaepernick should have been suspended by the NFL for his disrespecting of the U.S., saying “Frankly, the NFL should have suspended him for one game and he would have never done it again.”
“I will tell you cannot disrespect our country, our flag, our anthem,” Trump said. “You cannot do that.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 12, 2017
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.