"To me, it was embarrassing to watch that these are our two candidates," Kaepernick said, via Yamiche Alcindor of the New York Times. "Both are proven liars, and it almost seems like they’re trying to debate who's less racist. And at this point, talking with one of my friends, it was, you have to pick the lesser of two evils, but in the end, it’s still evil."
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump held their first debate at Hofstra University on Monday. According to a CNN/ORC International poll, 62 percent of the 521 registered voters surveyed afterward believed Clinton won the debate, which focused on the economy, international policy and the candidates' checkered records.
Kaepernick, who has sparked a national debate with his protests of racial injustice in the United States, made it clear he was not a fan of Trump's campaign slogan.
"He always says, 'Make America great again.' Well, America has never been great for people of color, and that's something that needs to be addressed," Kaepernick said, per ESPN.com's Nick Wagoner. "Let's make America great for the first time."
After Kaepernick's protests during the national anthem first made headlines, Trump criticized the quarterback on KIRO Radio in Seattle.
"I think it's personally not a good thing," Trump said, per FoxNews.com. "I think it's a terrible thing, and you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him. Let him try; it's not gonna happen."
Clinton has not publicly commented on Kaepernick's protest, though Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine offered his take in an interview on Good Morning America on Sept. 1 (via of the Washington Times):
I'd do it differently. I think if you really thought about issues and about this country, you'd do it differently, and when I heard him explain his rationale, it didn't really make that much sense to me. But you've got to respect people's ability to act according to their conscience, so I wouldn't presume to tell him what to do.
This wasn't the first time Kaepernick has gone after the nominees. Speaking with reporters in August, he highlighted the two nominees as being representative of his issues with the country.
"You have Hillary, who's called black teens or black kids 'superpredators.' You have Donald Trump, who's openly racist," Kaepernick said, per Richardson. "We have a presidential candidate who has deleted emails and done things illegally. ... That doesn't make sense to me because if that was any other person, you'd be in prison. So what is this country really standing for?"
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