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    5 Sep 2016

    Obama: Kaepernick ‘exercising his constitutional right to make a statement’

    President Barack Obama weighed in on the controversy swirling around NFL star Colin Kaepernick, calling the concerns of his protests "real" and "legitimate."

    “I think he cares about some real, legitimate issues that need to be talked about,” Obama said about the San Francisco 49ers quarterback during a press conference on Monday night in Hangzhou, China.

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

    “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," he said.

    Kaepernick first came under fire in late August for refusing to stand during the national anthem in a game against the Green Bay Packers.

    "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder,” he said last month in an interview posted on the National Football League’s website.

    The football star also received push back from Americans who disagreed with his statements criticizing both Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump for race-related remarks throughout their careers.

    "I mean, you have Hillary who's called black teens or black kids super predators. You have Donald Trump who's openly racist. I mean, we have a presidential candidate [Hillary Clinton] who's 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."

    Read More:http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/obama-colin-kaepernick-protest-227731
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