As Colin Kaepernick prepares to take the field for the first time since sitting through a playing of the national anthem in protest, a California congressman is speaking out in opposition to the San Francisco 49ers' controversial quarterback.
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“He probably fits in very well in San Francisco,” Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter said in an interview on the ESPN/ABC podcast, “Capital Games.” “That might be one of the reasons that he’s able to do this or feel confident about it.”
Hunter, a Marine Corps veteran who serves on the House Armed Services committee, represents a district outside San Diego, the city where Kaepernick’s team will face the Chargers tonight.
Noting the large military community in San Diego, Hunter said Kaepernick should expect to be roundly booed.
“A city like San Diego is too patriotic,” said Hunter, adding that he believes Kaepernick would be out of a job if he played for the Chargers.
“I don’t think we’d have a player like him, frankly, I think he’d be booed out or the owners would be forced to not accept someone like him,” he said.
Earlier this week, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump weighed in on the controversy surrounding Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the national anthem during a preseason game Friday night, saying in a Seattle radio interview, "Maybe [Kaepernick] should find a country that works better for him."
Hunter, a Trump supporter, said that while he supports open displays of opposition to Kaepernick's action, he doesn't foresee a boycott of 49ers games.
“I think you can combat what Kaepernick’s doing with a show of force on the other side,” said Hunter. “That’s saying, ‘Hey, we respect the flag because it stands for something that’s constant, and that’s the sacrifices and what the American military has done for this country.’”
Reaction to Kaepernick's protest has been mixed. Some members of the military are using the hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick on social media to show their support for the quarterback's right to protest.
You can listen to "Capital Games" HERE.