GOP Congressman: Kaepernick’s Anthem Protest ‘Sympathetic To ISIS’

(CBS SF) — The refusal by San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick to stand for the national anthem before games is “activism that is sympathetic to ISIS,” according to a Republican congressman from Iowa.

In an interview with conservative news and opinion website Newsmax, Rep. Steve King referred to Kaepernick’s Muslim girlfriend – MTV host Nessa Diab – as having affected his views.

“I understand that he has an Islamic girlfriend, that is his fiancée, and that this has changed him and he’s taken on some different political views along the way,” King said. “This is activism that’s sympathetic to ISIS.”

Gramatically speaking, Islam or Islamic refers to the religion while Muslim refers to people who follow Islam.

King also said Kaepernick doesn’t have a right to his anthem protest while he is working for the 49ers. “I think Colin Kaepernick is representing the San Francisco 49ers when he puts on that uniform, when he sets out on the stage, the world stage,” said King. “He’s taking advantage of that and he’s undermining patriotism.”

“Well, if somebody is working for me and they represent me, that’s the same legal scenario they have on a football team,” said King, adding any employee of his who would promote abortion, same-sex marriage or socialism in their spare time would be fired.

The 49ers have said players are encouraged to stand for the anthem but are not required to, and that the team supports Kaepernick’s right to protest.

King has a history of controversial and inflammatory statements against Muslims, Latinos, blacks and other minorities and has been rebuked at times by members of his own party for his remarks.  In July, he created an uproar by questioning the cultural contributions of non-whites, asking “where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”


Carlos E. Castañeda is Senior Editor, News & Social Media for CBS San Francisco and a San Francisco native. You can follow him on Twitter or send him an email.

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