Donald Trump Talks Colin Kaepernick's Status as an NFL Free Agent at Rally

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2017

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Kentucky Exposition Center, Monday, March 20, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

President Donald Trump appears happy to take credit for his role in keeping Colin Kaepernick unemployed.

Speaking at a rally in Louisville, Kentucky, on Monday, Trump brought up the "San Francisco quarterback" and discussed his part in the player's current situation, per TMZ.

"There was an article today," Trump explained, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. "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 gonna report it to the people of the Kentucky. Because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag."

The article in question was written by Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman. He quoted an AFC general manager in saying, "some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him. They think there might be protests or [President Donald] Trump will tweet about the team."

Of course, he also noted that only about 10 percent of teams feel that way. The general manager estimated another 20 percent simply believes Kaepernick is no longer an effective player, while another 10 percent is mixed and the rest "genuinely hate him" for his actions.

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback made headlines last season when he decided not to stand during the national anthem. He explained he was "not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," per Steve Wyche of NFL.com.

After beginning the year on the bench, he eventually took over the starting job for the 49ers and finished with a 90.7 quarterback rating, which ranked 17th out of 30 qualified quarterbacks, per ESPN.com.

He opted out of his contract in March to become a free agent and he remains unsigned.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Kaepernick plans to stand for the national anthem next season.