Harbaugh acknowledges Kaepernick’s right to protest, doesn’t respect action

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke out on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to protest and sit during the national anthem.

Harbaugh served as the 49ers head coach from 2011 to 2014. Kaepernick was named the team’s starting quarterback in 2012. Kaepernick chose not to stand for the anthem before San Francisco’s preseason game on Friday in protest of racial oppression. He said that he will continue to sit during the “Star Spangled Banner” at future games.

The NFL issued a statement that says players are “encouraged but not required to stand” during the anthem.

“I acknowledge his right to do that, but I don’t respect the motivation or the action,” Harbaugh told reporters.

He later clarified his comments on Twitter:

“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.”

Below are some other reactions from fellow NFL players and coaches regarding Kaepernick’s decision:

• Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter said he respects a player’s right to free speech and would have a private conversation with one of his players, if they elected not to stand. (Greg Auman, Tampa Bay Times)

• Richard Sherman agrees with Kaepernick’s decision to protest but says the quarterback could have chosen a better platform to get his message across. (SB Nation Seahawks)

• Philadelphia Eagles rookie linebacker Myke Tavarres plans to join Colin Kaepernick’s protest and refuse to stand during the national anthem at upcoming games

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