Obama Defends Kaepernick — ‘He’s Exercising His Constitutional Right to Make a Statement’

Monday at a press conference on in Hangzhou, China a the G20, President Barack Obama weighed in on the controversy involving San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his decision not to stand during the national anthem.

According to Obama, there were “real” and “legitimate” issues and that Kaepernick was exercising his constitutional right to draw attention to those issues.

“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 that holds for our men and women in uniform 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.”

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