President Donald Trump spoke at a rally in Louisville, Kentucky, on Monday - and during his address to the crowd, Trump brought up the employment status of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
On Tuesday's episode of Undisputed, Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless reacted to the president's remarks.
President Donald Trump: “Your San Francisco quarterback, I’m sure nobody ever heard of him. I’m just reporting the news. There was an article today - I love to report the news and then they say I made a mistake, right? I said ‘no, the people reporting the news made a mistake if it’s wrong.’
There was an article today, it was reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Do you believe that?
I just saw that. I said, ‘If I remember that one, I’m going to report it to the people of Kentucky, because then like it when people actually stand for the American flag, right?'"
USA TODAY NETWORKCourier-Journal-USA TODAY Sports
Shannon Sharpe: Americans are more upset with Kaepernick kneeling than why he was kneeling
“I am so glad Donald Trump took this stance, because now I don’t have to worry about anybody ever telling me, ‘Shannon, stick to sports. Leave politics alone.’
Because President Trump wouldn’t stick to being a reality star. President Trump wouldn’t stick to politics, so he got to jump into sports. So I feel very comfortable now, moving forward, jumping back and forth. Sports to politics, politics to sports.
And again, this confirms what I’ve said all along. And he, President Trump, re-affirmed my suspicions.
A majority of America is upset with the act, but not what led to the act.”
Joe CamporealeJoe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Shannon Sharpe: President Trump has no interest in addressing the underlying issue
“We see police officers and lawyers that will defend them, and pundits that defend the officers and their actions, saying when we see a tape - the first thing they say - ‘we don’t know what led to this action.’
Nobody wants to hear about Colin Kaepernick and what led Colin Kaepernick to do what he’s doing. Let’s just focus on the act and let what led to the act go unmentioned.
President Trump has no interest in addressing what led to Colin Kaepernick taking a knee, because his base in which he was - why he’s having a rally, I would think that a sitting president would be more focused on his agenda and governing than going to rallies, but hey, that’s him.
… He won’t mention that, because you know why? Because that’s unimportant to him. He doesn’t care about Colin Kaepernick’s struggle and what Colin Kaepernick is trying to draw attention to.”
Steve MitchellSteve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Shannon Sharpe: Colin Kaepernick may have realized he can have a bigger impact on the world outside sports
“I get it. Colin Kaepernick’s in America, he’s made a lot of money, and a lot of times when you make a lot of money, people want you to shut up. Count your money and don’t worry about it if it doesn’t affect you.
Colin Kaepernick said ‘no, I can no longer do that.’
… Colin Kaepernick had a… maybe he had an epiphany. Maybe he had a realization that ‘I have a higher calling the playing quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.’
Maybe that it’s it. Colin Kaepernick does not see himself today as he saw himself yesterday, or four or five years ago. And that’s OK.”
Kelley L CoxKelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Shannon Sharpe: We can't keep ignoring why Kaepernick chose to protest
“But for President Trump to take time out of his schedule to address [Kaepernick]…
Now he said, Skip, some quarterback for the 49ers, ‘nobody’s ever heard of him.’ But we know who he was talking about, as did he. And I said this earlier, Skip. If you want to know a lot about a person, give him power.
See, President Trump, he loves this power. Because he says the owners’ fear of ‘getting a nasty tweet from Donald Trump’… You’re talking about men that are worth billions and billions of dollars, and they fear?
…. But this is where we are now. We should not be shocked, we should not be surprised, and although President Trump wants to take some congratulatory pats on the back to think he has something to do with this, I think a small part of these owners and general managers believe ColinKaepernick can not play anymore. I do believe a small fragment of owners believe that the protests and the outcry over the stance that he took would be too much for them to bear. And then, hey, maybe there are 5-10 guys that do not want to get that nasty tweet.
… At some point in time, we’re going to have to stop addressing the kneeling, and we’re going to have to start addressing what led Colin Kaepernick to kneel. That’s the issue that nobody wants to talk about.”
Caylor ArnoldCaylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Skip Bayless: President Trump's comments were offensive
“First of all, I do think Colin Kaepernick had resounding impact in this country. Whether you agreed or didn’t agree with his protest, the upshot of it was positively polarizing.
Now back to President Trump. I don’t know politics the way you do, I don’t follow it the way you do. I know sports, I stick to sports. But in this case, we have crossed the line, as you have just pointed out, from politics to sports and it’s all blurred now.
And I must admit, even though I try to stay politically neutral, I found this very offensive. But this has been this president’s M.O., that if you criticize him and you’re big enough, he will attack you.
This is the same president who, back in February I believe, called a news conference so that he could attack each of the news outlets that have criticized him one by one. I watched the whole thing live, it seemed like it went on for an hour.”
Kirby LeeKirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Skip Bayless: President Trump may have been using the situation to boost his ratings
“I’m going to remind you that during his campaign, Colin Kaepernick called Donald Trump ‘openly racist.’And I believe that Donald Trump has enough respect for Kaepernick’s stature and his platform that it really stuck in his craw, and he was waiting for the opportunity to fire back and ‘get even,’ the way he tries to get even with anyone who crosses him.
And yet - and this is just me from a distance, this is my two cents - it felt like yesterday that something deeper was operating. Because clearly, from everything I read, President Trump’s approval ratings are plummeting. Different polls suggest more than others, but they are plummeting.
To me, one of the quickest ways to win back popularity is to wave the flag, or defend the flag. So, for me, he picked the perfect opportunity to defend the flag by condemning Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the anthem.”
Steve MitchellSteve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Skip Bayless: It was a sad day
"Obviously a lot of people in this country did not agree with the manner in which he chose to protest, and I think that crossed all color lines. Black, white - whatever color you want - a lot of people didn’t initially agree with the method of protesting. I told you that the first time I saw it, I cringed… until I listened. And then the more my ears opened to his message, the more I said ‘gee, he’s got a profound point, and he’s backing up his protest.’
And in this case, it to me became a sad day when the President of the United States of America drew a line in the sand, and he dared NFL owners to step across that line. Because if you do, you’re going to get an angry tweet from the President of the United States condemning you for signing him. Well, that’s one way to shut off a protester in the United States of America.