NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick's mother said Saturday that President Donald Trump's attack on athletes protesting during the national anthem was "a big mistake."
"It's always at his rallies — and he's always pandering and playing to the crowd," Teresa Kaepernick told Deadspin.
"There are a lot of racist people in that crowd, a lot of people that are just looking for something to get hyped about, and this is the kind of thing he does.
"It’s like a bully on a playground," she said.
Trump told an Alabama crowd on Friday that NFL players should be fired for not honoring the flag and urged fans to "leave the stadium to protest people doing things like kneeling during the National Anthem."
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b--ch off the field right now,'" Trump told a cheering crowd at the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville. "He is fired. He's fired!"
Trump, who was campaigning for Republican Senate candidate Luther Strange, formerly owned the New Jersey Generals of the long-defunct U.S. Football League.
The president doubled down on his comments Saturday by tweeting that such players should "find something else to do."
Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, refused to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the start of 49ers games last year — igniting widespread praise and scorn.
In her Deadspin interview, Teresa Kaepernick said that Trump's comments were "almost what I’ve come to expect from him and what most of us have come to expect from him.
"It’s disappointing though — and I’m kind of surprised that he went at the whole NFL the way that he did — not just Colin — because he does have so many friends in the NFL, as he said himself.
"We’ll see what happens with that," Kaepernick said. "I don’t know if anything will, but I thought it was a big mistake on his part.
"Just a terribly bad decision."
Kaepernick also hit back on Twitter:
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