Obama SHUTS DOWN Kaepernick Critics: ‘He’s Exercising His Constitutional Right’ (VIDEO) » New Century Times
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  • Obama SHUTS DOWN Kaepernick Critics: ‘He’s Exercising His Constitutional Right’ (VIDEO)

    News, Police Brutality, Politics, Racism

    The choice of San Francisco 49ers second-string quarterback Colin Kaepernick to sit down during the National Anthem in protest of racism and police brutality was a powerful one, and one that has received both praise and criticism alike. Since then, the football player has clarified that he did not mean for his protest to be anti-American, but had merely wanted to draw attention to the unfair treatment of the black community by law enforcement.

    In response to the backlash Kaepernick’s silent protest has received, President Barack Obama had a few things to say – and he addressed the issue with his usual grace and clarity at a press conference in Hangzhou, China that followed the G20 Summit. When Obama was asked about the controversy, Obama confessed that he hadn’t been following the topic closely and didn’t have the latest facts, but it all came down to this:

    “My understanding at least is that he’s exercising his constitutional right to make a statement. I think there’s a long history of sports figures doing so.”

    Obama made sure to point out that when making a statement and protesting for a major cause and issue in our time, there are several ways to go about it. Obama stated that while Kaepernick’s method may have been controversial and rubbed many the wrong way, the discussion that the NFL player started was one that needed to be had, and that the athlete’s concern had been genuine:

    “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. If nothing else what he’s done is he’s generated more conversation around some topics that need to be talked about.”

    Obama also noted that sometimes protests are imperfect and “messy”, but that is “the way democracy works” when trying to make social change. He said:

    “I’d rather have young people who are engaged in the argument and trying to think through how they can be part of our democratic process than people who are just sitting on the sidelines not paying attention at all.”

    You can listen to the entirely of what Obama had to say below:

    Featured image via Pool / Getty Images

    Patti Colli

    My passion is bringing attention to human rights and equality issues. In addition to writing for New Century Times and other political platforms, I also run a website and digital magazine dedicated to social issues and promoting equality in all forms.