President Donald Trump has been outspoken about being against NFL players protesting during the national anthem but appeared to soften his stance on Colin Kaepernick recently. Sinclair’s Scott Thurman asked Trump if he believed Kaepernick should receive another opportunity in the NFL despite his opinion about players taking a knee during the anthem. Trump noted he would support Kaepernick getting another chance with the NFL “if he deserves it” from a playing perspective.
“If he deserves it, he should,” Trump explained. “If he has the playing ability, he started off great and then he didn’t end up very great in terms of as a player. He was terrific in his rookie year. I think he was very good in his second year and then something happened. So, his play wasn’t up to snuff. 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.”
It is not exactly a full-out endorsement of Kaepernick, but the president seems to have taken a softer stance despite recent rhetoric. Trump tweeted that he would not be “watching much anymore” after U.S. Soccer announced they would now allow players to kneel during the national anthem. Trump added that he would not be supporting the NFL if they have a similar stance when the 2020 season begins.
“And it looks like the NFL is heading in that direction also, but not with me watching!” Trump tweeted on June 13.
Kaepernick Played 6 Seasons in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers
Trump’s comments about Kaepernick’s NFL career are not accurate as the quarterback played six seasons for the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick spent his rookie season in 2011 sitting behind Alex Smith before taking over the starting gig midway through the 2012 season.
The quarterback’s best statistical season came in 2014 when he threw for 3,369 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while completing more than 60 percent of his passes. Kaepernick also added 639 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn Voiced His Support For Kaepernick
Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016 despite publicly campaigning for an opportunity. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently said that he would “support a club” if they opted to sign Kaepernick.
“If he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it’s gonna take a team to make that decision,” Goodell explained to ESPN (via NFL.com). “But I welcome that, support a club making that decision and encourage them to do that.”
Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn also voiced his support for Kaepernick but stopped short of saying the team was interested in signing the quarterback. Lynn explained that he would keep Kaepernick on the Chargers’ “workout list,” per Fox News.
“I haven’t talked to him,” Lynn said, per Pro Football Talk. “He fits the style of quarterback that we want. We’re happy with the three quarterbacks that we want but you can’t have enough on the runway.”