Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback mired in controversy surrounding his decision to not stand during the U.S. National Anthem, made comments on presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
“It wasn’t a timing thing, it wasn’t something that was planned,” he told media outlets on Sunday, according to Niners Wire. “But I think the two presidential candidates that we currently have also represent the issues that we have in this country right now.”
He was asked to elaborate.
“You have Hillary who has called black teens or black kids super predators, you have Donald Trump who’s openly racist. We have a presidential candidate who has deleted emails and done things illegally and is a presidential candidate. That doesn’t make sense to me because if that was any other person you’d be in prison. So, what is this country really standing for?” he said.
Kaepernick, 28, said the country has “elected a black president but there are also a lot of things that haven’t changed. There are a lot of issues that still haven’t been addressed and that’s something over an eight-year term there’s a lot of those things are hard to change and there’s a lot of those things that he doesn’t necessarily have complete control over.”
He added: “I know there’s other players that feel the same way. I’ve had other players reach out to me. Once again, it’s not something I’m going to ask them to put their necks out. I know the consequences that come along with my decision and if they feel strongly and want to stand with me, then I hope they do. If it’s something they’re not ready for then that’s what the conversations are for and they can make that decision when they’re ready or if they’re ready.”
Kaepernick said he will not be standing for the national anthem, saying that the flag represents “a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” according to NFL Media.
“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,” Kaepernick added. “I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”