Donald Trump takes credit for bullying Colin Kaepernick out of the NFL

Source: AP
Source: AP

At a campaign rally Monday in Louisville, Kentucky, President Donald Trump declined to comment on FBI Director James Comey's public disclosure his agency is investigating possible collusion between Trump's campaign and the Russian government.

But Trump did feel the public was insufficiently aware of his dislike for NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco quarterback who drew the ire of conservatives by refusing to stand for the national anthem in protest of police violence against black people. Trump bragged that NFL owners have declined to pick up the frequent Trump critic so they don't "get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump."

"You know, your San Francisco quarterback, I'm sure nobody ever heard of him," Trump told the crowd. "I'm just reporting the news. There was an article today ... that NFL owners don't want to pick him up because they don't want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump, can you believe that?

"I just saw that. I said if I remember that one, I'm gonna report it to the people of Kentucky because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag, right?"

Trump appeared to be referring to an article on Bleacher Report citing a single, anonymous American Football Conference general manager, and seemed to have blown even that out of proportion.

The AFC general manager reportedly told Bleacher Report "some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him. They think there might be protests or Trump will tweet about the team." 

But the unnamed general manager continued to estimate "around 10%" of the general managers declining to sign Kaepernick were directly inspired by Trump, instead noting "the rest genuinely hate [Kaepernick] and can't stand what he did. They want nothing to do with him ... They think showing no interest is a form of punishment."

In other words, the claim itself is dubiously sourced — much like the many times Trump insisted the rumors of Trump-Russia collusion were "fake news" not worth the FBI's time. But Trump would seem to prefer to discuss his many supposed accomplishments than address the elephant in the room, and especially the time he supposedly bullied a black player out of the NFL for protesting.

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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