First Take debate Donald Trump’s statements on why free agent Colin Kaepernick is currently not signed to an NFL Team. Stephen A. Smith and the panel debate whether Trump is abusing the power of his office and bragging about his influence in potentially silencing free speech from the Kaepernick and the NFL. Which panellists do you agree with?

ESPN Said:

President Donald Trump reignited his feud with Colin Kaepernick, taking credit for the fact that the quarterback has not signed with a team since opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers three weeks ago.

Speaking at a rally Monday night in Louisville, Kentucky, Trump said he was reading an article about NFL owners’ fears about signing Kaepernick and said, “They don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Do you believe that?”

Trump added that he wanted to share this with “the people of Kentucky because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag.”

Kaepernick famously took a knee during the national anthem before 49ers games last fall to protest what he said was oppression of people of color, leading to dozens of athletes in multiple sports following with protests of their own.

In the midst of explaining his actions to reporters, Kaepernick called then-candidate Trump “openly racist.”

Trump wasted little time in firing back when asked during a radio interview about Kaepernick’s protest.

“I think it’s personally not a good thing. I think it’s a terrible thing,” Trump said at the time. “And, you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him. Let him try. It won’t happen.”

Trump later blamed the NFL’s falling ratings on Kaepernick’s protest.

Kaepernick said in November that he did not vote in the presidential election.

On Sunday, famed film director Spike Lee wrote in an Instagram post that he believed Kaepernick’s unemployment had to do with something other than his talent as a quarterback.

Reports are saying Kaepernick will stand during the national anthem in the 2017 season. However, Kaepernick has continued his philanthropy work by sending an airplane full of food to Somalia.

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