MLB Hall of Famer Tony La Russa Slams Colin Kaepernick’s ‘Disrespectful’ Anthem Protests

SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest during the national anthem prior to playing the Los Angeles Rams in their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra …

Former Major League Baseball manager Tony La Russa has added his voice to those criticizing San Francisco 49ers second-string quarterback Colin Kaepernick for his anti-American protests during the playing of the national anthem.

Speaking with “Sports Illustrated Now” host Maggie Gray, the Hall of Famer said he doubted Kaepernick’s sincerity and called the silent protests “disrespectful.”

“I know that there’s a constitutional right to express yourself, but I think you have a right as an organization to have a certain philosophy about respecting, whether it’s our Constitution, whether it’s our country, whether its our soldiers…our flag,” La Russa said during the September 14 broadcast. “I would not, to the best of my ability, I would not sanction somebody taking a knee.”

“I think that’s disrespectful,” La Russa, who played and managed in the Bay Area for the Oakland A’s, continued, “and I really question the sincerity of somebody like Kaepernick. I remember when he was on top. I never heard him talk about anything but himself. Now all of a sudden he’s struggling for attention and he makes this big pitch. I don’t buy it. And even if he was sincere, there are other ways to show your concern. Disrespecting our flag is not the way to do it.”

Colin Kaepernick has been indulging his anti-American protest since the end of August when he decided he could no longer stand for the playing of the anthem even though up until August he had been doing so for his entire five-year NFL career.

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