President Obama on Colin Kaepernick: ‘He’s Exercising His Constitutional Right’

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During a trip to China for the G20 Summit of world leaders, President Obama weighed in on Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem. While the NFL star’s protest has polarized many—with some calling his decision disrespectful to the military, and many veterans speaking out to show their support for the quarterback—President Obama said Kaepernick is “exercising his Constitutional right.”

Though he admitted he hadn’t been following the controversy closely, President Obama affirmed Kaepernick’s right to protest.

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“In terms of Mr. Kaepernick, I’ve got to confess that I haven’t been thinking about football while I’ve been over here and I haven’t been following this closely, but my understanding, at least, is that he’s exercising his Constitutional right to make a statement,” he said. “I think there’s a long history of sports figures doing so. I think there are a lot of ways you can do it.”

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