There are probably a million different opinions on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his decision to sit during the playing of the national anthem.
One that people will pay attention to, however, comes from his former coach, Jim Harbaugh.
The second-year Michigan coach was asked during his media availability on Monday about Kaepernick’s refusal to stand. In short, Harbaugh understands Kaepernick has the right do it, but he doesn’t agree with the decision.
“I acknowledge his right to do that,” Harbaugh said via MLive.com. “But I don’t respect the motivation or the action.”
However, Harbaugh later clarified his statement on Twitter, noting he only took exception to Kaepernick’s “method of action.”
I apologize for misspeaking my true sentiments. To clarify, I support Colin’s motivation. It’s his method of action that I take exception to
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) August 29, 2016
Harbaugh is in a tough spot being asked to comment on this. Harbaugh, who coached Kaepernick from 2011-14, continued to speak highly of the quarterback even after he left the 49ers to coach the Wolverines. At the same time, Harbaugh has never been shy about his appreciation for this country’s armed forces.
Of note, among the most popular complaints about Kaepernick’s demonstration is that it disrespects the men and women of the U.S. military, both active and former.
However, Kaepernick said himself he has “great respect for men and women that have fought for this country” and recognizes that their sacrifice is the reason he has the freedom to protest in this manner.
Kaepernick has stated repeatedly that his demonstration is rooted in ongoing racial tensions in the U.S.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media. “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.”
Source: CBS Sports / Jim Harbaugh doesn’t ‘respect’ Colin Kaepernick sitting during national anthem