Donald Trump once again picked a fight with a celebrity by declaring the NFL won’t take Colin Kaepernick out of free agency out of fear getting a tweet from the president.
At a rally in Louisville, Ky., to promote the Republican health care bill Monday, March 20, Trump went off topic by discussing an article on why Kaepernick has failed to get picked up by another NFL team after opting out of his deal with the San Francisco 49ers.
“Your San Francisco quarterback, I’m sure nobody ever heard of him,” Trump said according to USA Today to a cheering crowd. “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 going to report it to the people of Kentucky. Because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag, right?”
The president referenced a report that was published one week into Kaepernick’s free agency that blamed the quarterback’s political activism — he famously spent last season kneeling during the national anthem — for the lack of interest in him.
“Some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him,” an anonymous AFC general manager told the Bleacher Report,” Friday, March 17. “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.”
When news broke that Kaepernick would become a free agent, it was also reported that he would end his protest of the national anthem in the upcoming season. Sources told ESPN Kaepernick didn’t want “his method of protest to detract from the positive change he believes has been created.” Many fans saw it as a financially motivated move rather than Kaepernick realizing his goal was achieved.