NFL QB Colin Kaepernick has refused to stand for the national anthem due to what he considers unfair treatment of African Americans and minorities in the country.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was asked about the situation during Monday’s press conference. Harbaugh was Kaepernick’s coach when Harbaugh was the San Francisco 49ers.
Harbaugh originally said he understands it’s Kaepernick’s right to sit but said he doesn’t respect the motivation or action. About an hour later on Twitter, Harbaugh clarified his thoughts, saying he misspoke regarding the motivation disagreement. His “true sentiments” are below:
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
Kaepernick shared the reason for the protest in an interview with NFL Media.
“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 in an exclusive interview after the game. “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.”
But Harbaugh wasn’t the only Wolverine to talk about Kaepernick and his protest. Cornerback Jourdan Lewis said he resonates with Kaepernick’s message but not how the QB went about making his point.
“The freedom of speech thing is a really big deal,” Lewis said. “I wouldn’t go against America as a whole. It has been inequality for quite some time now, but to say I want to be somewhere else would be a lie. I love America and I will always want to be here. I have the greatest opportunity in the world here. To say that America has done me wrong, it would be a lie. I resonate with [Kaepernick’s] message, but not so much the way he went about it.
“I’m glad that he stood up for what he believed in, and for a lot of things I believe in. To say if I would do that? I couldn’t do that. I’d speak out about inequality, definitely. But the way he did it …”