President Donald Trump has taken a swipe at the NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, during a campaign-style rally in Kentucky following the former San Fracisco 49ers player’s protest last season against the American national anthem.
Kaepernick made headlines not for his performances on the pitch but for the ones off it as he refused to stand for the national anthem before games, instead choosing to take to one knee in protest against police treatment of minorities.
29-year-old Kaepernick was criticised for his actions, but he was also defended for having the right to free speech and was also joined by a number of black NFL players who agreed with his stance.
The quarterback, who is currently a free agent after being released by the 49ers, has confirmed that he will not continue with his protest next season, but that has not stopped President Trump from criticising him during a speech on Monday.
After claiming that he read an article in which it said that NFL owners are wary of signing Kaepernick "because they don't want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump", the President laughed off the report, much to the delight of an enthusiastic crowd.
“I’m sure nobody ever heard of him,” President Trump said. “I’m just reporting the news. There was an article today — I love to report the news and then they said I made a mistake, right? I said, ‘No, the people reporting the news made a mistake if it’s wrong.’
“But there was an article today, it was reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Do you believe that? I just saw that. I just saw that. I said if I remember that one I’m going to report it to the people of Kentucky. Because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag.”
The swipe came in response to an article by Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, who spoke to an unnamed AFC General Manager who expressed concerns that “some teams…think there might be protests or [President Donald] Trump will tweet about the team”.