Michael Strahan isn’t backing down from what he believes. The Good Morning America cohost opened up about the controversy surrounding NFL athletes — specifically Colin Kaepernick — and their choice to kneel in protest against police brutality and racial inequality during the National Anthem.
“I know why [Kaepernick] knelt was not in any disrespect to the military or anybody in the armed services because I have an appreciation for that,” the former NFL star, 46, told Ellen DeGeneres on Monday, September 10, after speaking on how his dad was in the service. “And when my father can look at me and tell me that he’s not offended and that he understands, then how could I — who didn’t do that service — be offended?”
He added: “That’s one of the things you can do in this country — is you can protest — and [Kaepernick’s] protesting injustices that he sees happening. And I take my hat off to him because he really did sacrifice and put so much on the line for other people that he had no idea who they were. He never met them, did not know them, and he put his life and career on the line.”
When the 60-year-old talk show host asked Strahan if he would’ve joined in the protest if he was still playing the sport today, he explained: “I think I would have [kneeled]. I would have had a conversation with my father, and based on that conversation, and conversations, I’ve had with him, I’m pretty sure I would have.”
Strahan noted that he “also would’ve been proactive in getting more organized because I do believe that there needs to be more organization between the players and the ownership.”
The interview with Strahan comes just one week after Nike revealed that Colin Kaepernick was the focus of its “Just Do It” campaign for the brand’s 30th anniversary.
The 30-year-old former San Francisco 49ers quarterback was the first professional football player to kneel in protest during the National Anthem in 2016. Subsequent protests by other players led President Donald Trump to call for them to be fired.
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