Donald Trump took a not-too veiled swipe at San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the national anthem, telling an American Legion convention he'll work "to strengthen respect for our flag."
In the GOP nominee's speech in Cincinnati on Thursday, he never mentioned Kaepernick's name but began the address supporting "American pride and patriotism."
"In a Trump administration, I plan to work directly with the American Legion to uphold our common values and to help ensure they are taught to America's children," he said.
"We will be united by our common culture, values and principles, becoming one American nation, one country under one constitution saluting one American flag – and always saluting it – the flag all of you helped to protect and preserve, that flag deserves respect."
"I will work with the American legion to help to strengthen respect for our flag," he added. "You see what's happening. It's very, very sad… We want young Americans to recite the pledge of allegiance."
Kaepernick sat on the team's bench last Friday night during the anthem before a Green Bay Packer exhibition game, saying later "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."
The protest drew immediate criticism, including from the San Francisco Police Officers Association, whose president, Martin Halloran, took Kaepernick to task for "a false narrative and misinformation that lacks any factual basis."
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