Yeah, it’s definitely election season. President Donald Trump spoke on Tuesday and stated he is all for Colin Kaepernick getting another shot in the National Football League.
“If he deserves it, he should. If he has the playing ability,” Trump said to Sinclair reporter Scott Thuman. “He started off great and then he didn’t end up very great in terms as a player.
“The answer is absolutely I would, as far as kneeling, I would love to see him get another shot. But obviously, he has to be able to play well. If he can’t play well, I think it would be very unfair.”
That is a very far cry from Trump’s statements nearly four years ago.
The first time that Colin Kaepernick kneeled was in 2016. In 2017, Trump attacked NFL players who would kneel in support of Kaepernick, stating it was done with the aim to disrespect the flag.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’” Trump said in a speech in Alabama.
One month later, Trump would specifically address Kaepernick’s form of peaceful protest throwing out his oft-used description of “terrible.”
“I watched Colin Kaepernick, and I thought it was terrible, and then it got bigger and bigger and started mushrooming, and frankly the NFL should have suspended him for one game, and he would have never done it again,” Trump said on Fox News. “They could have then suspended him for two games, and they could have suspended him if he did it a third time, for the season, and you would never have had a problem. But I will tell you, you cannot disrespect our country, our flag, our anthem — you cannot do that.”
The idea of disrespecting the country and flag by kneeling almost began to spread again when Drew Brees echoed that he did not support kneeling as a form of protest for the same reason. After being dragged online and by his own teammates, Brees stated that he has listened and understands the true meaning of the protest and the issues that Black Americans face.
Trump initially supported his flag statement but would change his tune once he was addressed specifically by Brees on Instagram about the true meaning of the protests.
“I am a big fan of Drew Brees,” Trump responded on Twitter. “I think he’s truly one of the greatest quarterbacks, but he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag. OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high. We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag – NO KNEELING!”
For Kaepernick, there appears to be a potential door opening for a return to the NFL. After NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stated he would “encourage” a team to bring the QB to a roster, Chargers coach Anthony Lynn says he would aim to have Kaepernick on his summer workout list.