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President Obama addresses Colin Kaepernick's protest: 'He’s exercising his constitutional right to make a statement'

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President Obama was asked about Colin Kaepernick’s protest during a trip to China and his response was one of support for Kaepernick’s rights, while acknowledging that the protest has become a polarizing issue. Here’s what the President said in totality:

“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. My understanding at least is that he’s exercising his constitutional right to make a statement. I think there’s a long history of sports figures doing so. 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 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 in what I’ve heard. I think he cares about some real, legitimate issues that have to be talked about and, if nothing else, what he’s done is that he’s generated some more discussion around topics that need to be talked about.”