Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh on Monday clarified earlier comments he made about the decision of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to remain seated for the national anthem.
"I apologize for misspeaking my true sentiments," Harbaugh tweeted. "To clarify, I support Colin's motivation. It's his method of action that I take exception to."
Harbaugh had said Kaepernick was within his rights to refuse to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner" but that he didn't "respect the motivation or the action," per Kyle Rowland of the Blade.
On Saturday, Kaepernick discussed why he declined to stand prior to Friday's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, per NFL Media's Steve Wyche:
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.
Both ESPN's Jemele Hill and Bleacher Report's Michael Felder were critical of Harbaugh's initial stance:
Jemele Hill @jemelehill
Wondering how Harbaugh's comments are going to play w/ black recruits. Uses hip hop to "relate" but belittles their struggle as blk men.2016-8-29 19:48:21
Michael Felder @InTheBleachers
What really gets me about Harbaugh is "I don't respect the motivation"2016-8-29 19:15:34
At least one Wolverines player, senior fullback Khalid Hill, seemingly took exception to his head coach's comments:
Khalid Hill @Thatboylid80
Kaepernick has come under heavy criticism for his actions, but he said Sunday that won't lessen his resolve.
"I'll continue to sit. ... I'm going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed," he said, per USA Today's Nate Davis. "To me, this is something that has to change, and when there's significant change—and I feel like that flag represents what it's supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way it's supposed to—I'll stand."
Fox Sports' Jay Glazer (via Nunzio Ingrassia of FoxSports.com) reported Sunday that Kaepernick's days in San Francisco could be numbered. Glazer said the 49ers' motivation to release Kaepernick would be based on his poor performance and development on the field rather than his refusal to stand for the national anthem.