Trump Reconsiders Kaepernick, however Not Kneeling

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President Trump stated that the previous San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick ought to get a shot at one other job within the N.F.L. if he was certified, his newest try to meddle within the enterprise of the nation’s largest sports activities league.

“I might like to see him get one other shot, however clearly he has to have the ability to play properly,” Trump stated Wednesday in an interview with the Sinclair Broadcast Group. “If he can’t play properly, I feel it might be very unfair.”

Trump spoke once more about Kaepernick throughout an interview on Wednesday evening with Sean Hannity of Fox Information, reiterating that he believed Kaepernick, 32, deserved one other shot within the N.F.L. “if he has the power.”

The president has repeatedly criticized Kaepernick and different gamers who knelt throughout the nationwide anthem to protest police brutality towards African-American individuals and different types of social injustice. In 2017, Trump urged N.F.L. owners to fire any players who protested throughout the nationwide anthem.

He stated earlier this week that he would not watch N.F.L. games if gamers continued to protest. In his Sinclair and Fox Information interviews on Wednesday, he repeated that he remained against kneeling throughout the anthem.

“When the nationwide anthem performs, and our flag — the good American flag — is raised, you shouldn’t be kneeling,” Trump stated on “Hannity.” “You need to be standing, ideally along with your hand in your coronary heart, or saluting, however they shouldn’t be kneeling.”

Kaepernick, who throughout the 2016 season grew to become the primary participant to kneel, has not performed in additional than three years. Final yr, he and a former teammate, Eric Reid, received a multimillion-dollar payment from the N.F.L. after Kaepernick accused the league of blackballing him due to his protests, which divided house owners, followers and politicians.

Trump and different critics stated Kaepernick and different gamers had been disrespecting the flag by kneeling throughout the nationwide anthem, whereas the gamers have insisted they had been solely making an attempt to lift consciousness of an essential social situation.

This month, N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized for not listening to players who protested, although he didn’t identify Kaepernick. This week, he stated that he would encourage and assist any group that offered Kaepernick a tryout.

Bowing to stress from the president, the N.F.L. owners in 2018 strengthened a policy that will require all gamers to face for the anthem whereas on the sector, although they had been additionally free to stay within the locker room throughout pregame ceremonies.

Not lengthy after, the N.F.L. Players Association filed a grievance accusing the league of appearing unilaterally. Since then the league has by no means enforced the coverage.

Whereas Trump agrees with Goodell that Kaepernick ought to get one other probability to play within the N.F.L., the president made clear he continued to oppose gamers who protest throughout the anthem.

Trump additionally expressed disappointment on “Hannity” that Drew Brees, the star quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, had apologized this month for saying that he thought-about it disrespectful for gamers to kneel throughout the nationwide anthem. After strolling again his stance, Brees directed an Instagram post to the president, saying, “We should cease speaking in regards to the flag and shift our consideration to the true problems with systemic racial injustice, financial oppression, police brutality, and judicial & jail reform.”

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