Colin Kaepernick caused quite the controversy back in 2016 when he decided to take a knee during the national anthem in protest of police brutality, and racial discrimination. Those who were opposed to his message say it was disrespectful towards the country, troops, and was unpatriotic of him.
Head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, Gregg Popovich has been very outspoken on a number of social issues, and he continued that trend by speaking on Kaepernick. “That was a very patriotic thing he did,” Popovich told Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “He cared about his country enough to fix some things that were obvious, that everybody knows about but does nothing about.”
Much has been discussed over what patriotism actually stands for, Pop thinks what Kaep is doing, is patriotism in his own way.
“Patriotism means a lot of things to different people, there’s people who are truly committed in that sense and people who are fake. The show of patriotism I think is a bit inappropriate and that is not something that I think we want to emulate. Because someone hugs a flag doesn’t mean they’re patriotic. Popovich told reporters in Los Angeles ahead of Team USA’s FIBA World Cup appearance. “Being a patriot is somebody that respects their country and understands that the best thing about our country is that we have the ability to fix things that have not come to fruition for a lot of people so far.”
New York Giants running back, Saquon Barkley, has recently spoken out saying he supports Kaepernick, then followed up with “If a fan wants to not be a fan of me because I retweet a thing for Colin Kaepernick, I don’t care.”
Likely as a result of his protests, Kaepernick remains out of the NFL for the 3rd consecutive season.