San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick caused a stir when he refused to stand during the national anthem before the team’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers to make a statement on race relations in America. Former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann weighed in on the controversy.
“I don’t believe he’s ended his career, I think one of the things we have to understand is society has changed so dramatically that different individuals in different walks of life whether it be in music, whether it be in sports or in politics as you know, have really had the ability to step up and say the things that they want to say and they can continue on with their career. The fact that Colin Kaepernick can still play the position of quarterback will probably be either a starter or a backup in San Francisco still exists. I think he has every right in the world to express his opinion as an individual,” Theismann told the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney.
Although Theismann supported Kaepernick’s right to express himself, he disagreed with the manner in which he did it.
“I personally feel like he chose the wrong time to do it. I think the American flag and the national anthem deserve respect. It’s two minutes of your life. And I think in that regard, you deserve to respect that because there are a lot of people in this country, there are a lot of people who have fought for freedom in this country to be able to fly that flag. Now I don’t disagree with what he wants to do as far as raising social issues, we certainly have a lot of problems, but I just don’t agree with the way he went about it.”
Theismann acknowledged that Kaepernick points out valid issues facing the country, but felt Kaepernick failed to point out some of the good police do in communities across America.
“We certainly have problems in this country, every issue that he brings up is a valid issue, but he doesn’t talk about all the good that the police do in this country as well.”
When Varney questioned whether Americans want sports stars or entertainers to weigh in on the key issues facing the country with dramatic political statements, Theismann responded, “Personally, no, I don’t think we do, but yet we’re all individuals Stuart, that’s what you have to understand. We’ve seen it in basketball, we saw it at the music awards. People use the forum to be able to express beliefs that they have. It’s the right that we have in this country.”
Then Theismann, who played some of his professional football career during the Reagan Administration, responded to comparisons between Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan.
“Is he Reagan-esque, I think you have to wait and see. Certainly what he wants to do in this country, to make this country better, ‘Make America Great Again,’ as Donald has said, I think he’s pointed in the right direction.” Theismann continued, “I think there’s one thing that we have to understand in this country, it cannot be status quo, there has to be a change in the policies that exist in this country.”