San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has caused outrage among some Fox News hosts for not standing during the national anthem in preseason as a silent protest of police brutality against black people (video below).
Kaepernick explained his position to journalists on Aug. 28, notes USA TODAY:
I’ll continue to sit. I’ll continue to stand with the people who are being oppressed. To me, this is something that has to change, and when there’s significant change -- and I feel like that flag represents what It’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way it’s supposed to -- I’ll stand.
Kaepernick told the NFL Network's Steve Wyche on Aug. 26 that he refused to "show pride in the flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," and added: "There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
Fox News host Brian Kilmeade interviewed former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann on Aug. 29 about Kaepernick on the radio show "Kilmeade and Friends."
During the interview, Theismann accused Kaepernick of not respecting the country: "This country has afforded him, this country that he doesn’t respect by sitting during the national anthem, has afforded him an opportunity in life that I don’t know many other countries that would."
"And let’s be honest, he was adopted by two white parents, he was well supported," Kilmeade added. "He's a great athlete. I'm sure he worked hard. I also heard his grades were great. But I don’t know what in his experience that could be so negative. But let’s start from the place, we all love the country and let’s try to make it better."
Kaepernick has made it very clear that he is protesting about police brutality against black people, not himself.
Fox News host Sean Hannity went one step further on his radio show on Aug. 29 by suggesting that Kaepernick was not standing for the national anthem because he had converted to Islam, notes Media Matters.
Hannity began the segment by calling Kaepernick a "spoiled brat, out of touch, super rich athlete," and then praised the U.S. for overcoming the institutional racism that it put in place for two centuries.
While praising the U.S., Hannity didn't mention police brutality, which is the focus of Kaepernick's protest.
Later in his broadcast, Hannity brought up the Islam rumor:
There was one, I don't know, I've never been able to confirm this, I looked earlier today, that he might have converted to Islam in the off-season ... I don't even know what this is, Sundance? Who gave me this article today? I don't even know where I got it. Anyway, it said during the off-season he may have converted to Islam, and he's also engaged with Black Lives Matter, and I guess hip hop radio personality DJ Nessa Diab? Who's that? I've never heard of these people.