"It feels great," Kouandjio told the Washington Post. "I’ve been waiting for this for a very long time, and I’m happy to finally be able to call myself an American."
The 24-year-old from Cameroon said he has thought a lot about his experience in light of the national conversation about the anthem protests by Colin Kaepernick and others.
Kouandjio said advocating for civil rights by protesting the anthem is "not the way I’d go about it", but he showed his awareness of American ideals.
"Like many people have pointed out, people fought for their rights to do that," Kouandjio told the Post. "They have the right to do what they’re doing. I mean, they’re using their platform in a different way, to get their values across. That’s part of what America is."