A former NFL player and U.S. Marine veteran had harsh words for Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who has claimed he can’t get a job in the league due to his political activism.
Jeremy Staat, a Marine veteran who served in Iraq, had critical words for Kaepernick.
“I’m tired of seeing him celebrated like he’s a hero,” he said, according to “Fox & Friends.”
Staat, who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers for two years, joined the Marine Corps in 2006 and served in Iraq for two years. He is running for California’s 8th Congressional District, which has been represented by Rep. Paul Cook, a Republican, since 2013.
On Monday, Staat told Fox that the free-agent quarterback “knew what he was getting into when he decided to kneel, and now he’s going to go ahead and capitalize” on it. Kaepernick drew backlash and boycott threats for protesting during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games—a move that he says was intended to raise awareness about police brutality.
Staat, 43, then accused Kaepernick of “essentially extorting the black community and using Nike as his little shiny horse, if you will, to ride in on.”
The remarks came after Kaepernick, 32, held a public workout and criticized the NFL because he hasn’t been signed by a team for nearly three years. Last week, he spoke at the “Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony” on Thanksgiving and claimed the United States “has stolen over 1.5 billion acres of land from Indigenous people. Thank you to my Indigenous family, I’m with you today and always.”
Kaepernick, for his recent comments, drew backlash on social media.
Staat, meanwhile, said he is tired of veterans being treated poorly and also wants to be a voice to support President Donald Trump in Congress.
“If you want to be part of the solution, go out and find ways to make the problem better. Don’t go out and attack individuals who are just doing their jobs,” he said.
Last month, Kaepernick again suggested that the NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, are colluding to keep him out of the league.
“I’ve been ready for three years, I’ve been denied for three years,” he said, reported ESPN. “We all know why I came out here, showed it today in front of everybody. We have nothing to hide. So we’re waiting for the 32 owners, 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them stop running. Stop running from the truth. Stop running from the people. We’re out here, we’re ready to play. We’re ready to go anywhere. My agent, Jeff Nalley, is ready to talk to any team. I’ll interview with any team at any time. I’ve been ready.”
The NFL issued a statement after the workout and criticized Kaepernick for moving it to another venue. The NFL was hosting the workout and reportedly had invited more than two-dozen teams.
“We are disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout,” the NFL said in a statement, reported ABC News. “He informed us of that decision at 2:30 p.m. today along with the public.”
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