President Donald Trump held an early campaign rally in Louisville on Monday, and Colin Kaepernick’s NFL free agency surprisingly became a topic of his speech.
While speaking to the crowd in Kentucky, Trump brought up the former 49ers quarterback and took credit for his struggles to land with a new NFL team.
“And you know, your San Francisco quarterback – I’m sure nobody ever heard of him. I’m just reporting the news. There was an article today. I love to report the news and then they said I made a mistake. I said, ‘No, the people reporting the news made the mistake if it’s wrong.’ But, there was an article today that 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. You believe that? I just saw that. I said, ‘If I remember that one, I’m gonna report it to the people of Kentucky because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag.’ Right?”
The article Trump seemed to referencing originated from Bleacher Report on Friday. Reporter Mike Freeman spoke to anonymous NFL executives and one AFC general manager brought up the potential Trump tweet.
Via Bleacher Report:
“He can still play at a high level,” one AFC general manager said. “The problem is three things are happening with him.
“First, some teams genuinely believe that he can’t play. They think he’s shot. I’d put that number around 20 percent.
“Second, 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. I’d say that number is around 10 percent. Then there’s another 10 percent that has a mix of those feelings.”
The AFC general manager, though, referred to just 10 percent of owners – not every team.
Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthems last season in protest of racial injustice. He already said he would not take a knee for the 2017 season.
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