NBC football analyst and former player Rodney Harrison does not agree with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to protest and sit during the playing of the national anthem, Harrison told Sportstalk 790 AM on Tuesday.
"I tell you this, I'm a black man. And Colin Kaepernick—he's not black," Harrison said. "He can not understand what I face and what other young black men and black people face, or people of color face, on a every single (day) basis. When you walk in a grocery store, and you might have $2,000 or $3,000 in your pocket and you go up in to a Foot Locker and they're looking at you like you about to steal something.”
Kaepernick chose not to stand for the anthem before San Francisco’s preseason game last Friday in protest of racial oppression. He said that he will continue to sit during the “Star Spangled Banner” at future games.
Harrison later apologized in a series of tweets on Tuesday afternoon.
I never intended to offend anyone , I was trying to speak about my experiences as a African American.— Rodney Harrison (@Rodney_Harrison) August 30, 2016
I apologize to anyone that I offended , wasn't meant to be hurtful to anyone. God bless— Rodney Harrison (@Rodney_Harrison) August 30, 2016
Last point I want people to know. I never even knew he was mixed.— Rodney Harrison (@Rodney_Harrison) August 30, 2016
I should not have called Colin Kaepernick’s race into question during this morning’s radio interview. It was a mistake and I apologize.— Rodney Harrison (@Rodney_Harrison) August 30, 2016
The NFL issued a statement that says players are “encouraged but not required to stand” during the anthem.
Harrison's former coach Bill Belichick opted not to comment on the situation and said he was “not here to talk about political commentary” when asked by reporters.