Obama says Kaepernick 'exercising constitutional right' to protest anthem
President Barack Obama weighed in on Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protest, saying the San Francisco 49ers quarterback is well within his constitutional rights to sit during the playing of the anthem.
Obama was asked about Kaepernick during a news conference at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China on Monday.
Obama admitted that he hasn't been thinking about football during his trip overseas, but says that Kaepernick is "exercising his constitutional right to make a statement."
"I think there is a long history of sports figures doing so," Obama said. "I think there are a lot of ways you can do it when it comes to the flag and national anthem."
Kaepernick did not stand for the anthem during the 49ers preseason games against the Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers, and took a knee during the team's final preseason game on Thursday.
Kaepernick has said that will continue to sit for the national anthem until “there’s significant change" regarding what he believes is racial oppression in the United States.
Others have joined Kaepernick in support of his stance, including teammate Eric Reid, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane and U.S. women's national team player Megan Rapinoe.
"I don't doubt his sincerity," Obama said of Kaepernick. "I think he cares about some real legitimate issues that have to be talked about."
- Scooby Axson